Clinical Trials
for Better Health

New health interventions require rigorous testing through clinical trials to ensure they are safe, effective and improve the lives of patients.

In May, QIMR Berghofer celebrated Clinical Trials Week to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials and research in healthcare. This coincided with International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May.

Clinical Trials Week is a time to thank clinicians, scientists and clinical trials staff who are committed to finding answers to important clinical questions, better medicines, interventions and cures.

“Clinical trials are crucial for both clinical medicine and also public health. It is how we answer questions about policy, but also how to treat people better and make sure that the treatments we’re delivering to people are safe,” said Dr Donald McLeod.

“I’m the principal investigator on a trial called the Thyro Pilot Trial. It’s a clinical trial to see whether combination therapy for underactive thyroid might allow people to feel better and be better than with current treatments,” he said.

“Having people involved in clinical trials allows us to improve care for people and hopefully cure diseases,” said Dr McLeod.

None of this vital research is possible without the extraordinary members of the community who participate in clinical trials.

“Young, old, healthy and unwell – wonderful people who understand the importance of clinical trials have committed time, data and samples to assist the scientific community in bringing clinical research to patients,” explained Clinical Trials Advisor Lisa Ferguson.

“We know what we know today, we have the treatments that we have today because many, many, many people took part in clinical trials,” said QIMR Berghofer Professor Patricia Valery.

QIMR Berghofer Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are held in all four of QIMR Berghofer’s research areas including
Infection & Inflammation, Mental Health & Neuroscience, Population Health, and
Cancer Research.

Infection & Inflammation

  • A Phase 1 study to characterise the transmission of an in vitro expanded Plasmodium falciparum (malaria) 3D7-MBE008 master cell bank in healthy subjects (not yet recruiting)
  • A phase 1b study to evaluate the blood stage antimalarial activity of a single oral dose of tafenoquine in healthy subjects experimentally infected with Plasmodium falciparum
  • A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and anti-parasitic immunity boosting activity of Ruxolitinib when co-administered with artemether-lumefantrine in healthy volunteers with Plasmodium falciparum Induced Blood Stage Malaria
  • Phase I open-label clinical trial of allogeneic SARSCoV-2-specific T cells for patients at risk of severe COVID-19 (not yet recruiting)
  • Phase I open-label clinical trial of trial of allogeneic multi-virus-specific T cells for the treatment of viral complications in transplant recipients
  • Phase I clinical trial of adoptive transfer of multivirus-specific T cells into TCRαβ+/CD19+-depleted haploidentical HSCT recipients

Population Health

  • The Sun-D Trial: the effect of high SPF sunscreen application on vitamin D
  • The D-Health Trial – the largest trial of its kind to study the relationship between vitamin D and respiratory infection
  • THYroid Replacement Options for Primary Hypothyroidism: – A Pilot Study

Mental Health & Neuroscience

  • Pilot and Feasibility RCT of a cognitive behavioural family intervention for reducing bullying victimisation and mental illness of adolescents
  • Dose finding clinical trial of sodium benzoate in people living with treatment refractory schizophrenia
  • Restoring the function of brain networks in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders using non-invasive brain stimulation
  • PARTING: Psilocybin-Assisted suppoRtive psychoTherapy IN the treatment of complicated Grief feasibility trial (not yet recruiting)

Cancer Research

  • PROMISE: Patient Reported Outcome Measures in cancer care: a hybrid effectiveness-Implementation trial to optimise Symptom control and health service Experience
  • PRoCESS: Pancreatic cancer Relatives Counselling and Education Support Service trial. Assessing the effect of nurse-led counselling, compared with information alone, on participant-reported outcomes and use of medical services