International Clinical Trials Day 2022

The vital role of research in developing pioneering treatments was celebrated across the partnership on May 20.

Held on 20 May - the date in 1747 that James Lind started what is often considered the first randomised clinical trial aboard a ship - the annual event is run by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

This year the event was sponsored by French multinational healthcare company Sanofi. In a statement, it said:

We are deeply grateful to all those who have chosen a career in clinical research. You help advance science and medicine in ways that improve the lives of people and communities throughout the world.
This year, we honour clinical trials professionals who are going to great lengths to help patients and colleagues in the face of extraordinary adversity. Your resilience and commitment are an inspiration as we press to overcome challenges that put people at risk today and delay the development of life-saving medicines for tomorrow.

See below for a selection of highlights from the day.Gstt Linda Gomm

Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (Guy’s and St Thomas’)

Linda Gomm [pictured], Lead Nurse for Cell Therapy Trials, Guy’s and St Thomas’, said:

I absolutely love being a research nurse. My current role as the Lead Nurse for Cell Therapy trials in Oncology has given me a unique opportunity to deliver novel treatments to cancer patients.
Immune Effector Cell Therapies (IEC) are different from existing treatments in two important ways: they are designed to restore normal function, sometimes offering cures where unmet medical needs exist, and they require new ways of working by the NHS.Evelina Ming Lim

Over at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Dr Ming Lim [pictured], Research and Development Lead, said:

We are committed to running clinical trials to improve treatments for the children and young people we care for. We work with specialists in our state-of-the-art clinical research facility on over 80 trials.

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH)

KCH Dr Leonie PennaTo mark the day KCH set up a marquee at the hospital and welcomed people in to discuss research and listen to talks from experts. Topics discussed included treatments for people with kidney problems, the ongoing research into Parkinson’s disease, and the latest critical care breakthroughs.

Dr Leonie Penna [pictured], Chief Medical Officer, KCH, says:

Research is a key focus of our Strong Roots, Global Reach strategy, and being able to give patients the option of participating in a clinical trial is one of the ways in which we provide outstanding care, whilst also helping to develop treatments for people around the world.
International Clinical Trials Day is a time to celebrate our achievements in this field, as well as recognising the brilliant staff and participants that make it all possible – thank you!

Maudsley BRC Jemma

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)

Jemma [pictured], a Service User Research Ambassador at SLaM wrote a blog about her role that involves promoting the importance of research to the Trust’s service users. She took up the role after taking part in two research studies into psychosis at the Trust - hear about her experience as a research ambassador:

After having such a positive experience with these trials, when I saw the Service User Research Ambassador job being advertised, I knew that I really wanted to apply because I am passionate about the benefits of participating in research. Since joining the Trust, my colleague Lily and I have been working hard to make research more accessible to service users. One of the ways that we are trying to do this is through the monthly Research Club set up in collaboration with the South London and Maudsley’s Recovery College, based on service user feedback. At the Research Club we invite researchers and their colleagues with lived experience of mental health conditions to present co-produced research to service users in way that makes the processes and outputs of research more transparent and approachable.

NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)

NIHR Maudsley BRC marked the day by talking about the benefits of research, in particular its AVATAR2 trial, which is evaluating a therapy to help people who hear distressing voices.

Dr Helen Harding, Clinical Psychologist, Lambeth Community Services, says:

We have found that many clients enjoy giving back and doing something for others through taking part in research.
Through taking part in AVATAR2 some clients describe feeling pleased to be able to contribute to research aimed at ultimately improving our psychological understanding and support available for people with distressing voices.

Would you like to take part in research studies? Click here to find out the latest volunteer opportunities at King’s College London.