International Clinical Trials Day – clinical trials participants share their stories

Summary media release information

20 May 2016
Media Release
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NHMRC Media Team
M: 0422 008 512

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) – in conjunction with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science – has launched a series of clinical trials ‘real stories’ videos to mark International Clinical Trials Day.

These stories provide personal insights from people who are participating in a clinical trial.

Through one of the stories featured on the website, John shares his experiences of participating in a clinical trial following his diagnosis with bowel cancer in 2011. John said he was pleased to be part of something which might further medical research to help future sufferers.

“After having part of my bowel removed to take out the cancer, I was referred to an oncologist who explained that the standard treatment for my situation was a program of chemotherapy with 12 infusions of the chemicals over a 24 week period.

“The oncologist then asked me if I would be prepared to participate in a clinical trial. The aim of the trial was to see if half the treatments…would give similar results to the longer treatment.

“After discussion with my wife I agreed to participate in the trial.

“The clinical trial staff were always there for me if I had any queries and…always seemed to be able to make time to talk through any concerns I had.

“We are all happy to receive the benefits of the most up to date treatment for our various ailments, but an important way these treatments can be developed and improved is by those who can help the doctors and scientists to test their new ideas.

“I would certainly encourage anyone who is invited to participate in a clinical trial to be prepared to be involved. I feel you can be assured that you will be well looked after during the process,” John said of his experiences participating in the trial.

NHMRC CEO Anne Kelso said these real stories provide the perspective of people who are participating or considering participating in a clinical trial.

“These stories highlight how being part of a clinical trial can help patients play an active role in their health care and learn more about treating and managing their condition.

“Clinical trials are essential to find better treatments and diagnostic tests to help patients treat their disease or condition. NHMRC is very pleased to be working with our partners to streamline the process for anybody wanting to take part in a clinical trial,” Professor Kelso said. provides resources for participants, potential participants, researchers, sponsors, healthcare providers and other consumers. It also enables consumers and health care providers to save searches, receive updates about relevant clinical trials and set up a watch list for individual clinical trials.

The continued work to improve is a strong and collaborative effort between the NHMRC, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, consumers, jurisdictional and industry representatives.

NHMRC has also assisted in strengthening processes to support efficient ethics approval of clinical trials.

Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) across Australia will now have greater access to expert advice in areas where it has been difficult to obtain, specifically for complex genetic research and clinical trials involving medical devices. Bellberry Limited has been engaged to support two independent national scientific committees, which will strengthen the important work of HRECs.

International Clinical Trials Day marks the anniversary of the first recorded controlled clinical trial that changed modern medicine. On this day in 1774, James Lind started his study to determine the cause of scurvy and now this day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials and research in healthcare.

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