News

Celebrating Clinical Trials Day

24 May 2023

  • Clinical Trials Day is an opportunity to express gratitude to the researchers, clinicians, and nurses who dedicate their lives to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care.
  • The efforts of these individuals in conducting ground-breaking research and their commitment to finding new and innovative treatments are greatly appreciated.
  • Their work is crucial for improving health outcomes globally, and their dedication and contributions are recognised on Clinical Trials Day.

Clinical Trials Day 2023

On Saturday, 20 May, we celebrated Clinical Trials Day, which recognises the important work being done around the globe in ground-breaking medical research.

This day highlights the crucial role played by researchers, clinicians, and nurses in advancing our understanding of medicine.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are the essential final step in introducing new medical interventions (treatments) to the clinic, and they provide hope for millions of people living with chronic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Clinical trials are divided into four phases and are carefully monitored and regulated.

Phase 1: This phase is focused on evaluating the safety and tolerability of the intervention in a small group of healthy volunteers. The aim is to determine the appropriate dose of the intervention and to identify any potential side effects.

Phase 2: This phase is focused on evaluating the efficacy of the intervention in a larger group of people who have the condition in question. The aim is to gather preliminary data on the effectiveness of the intervention and to identify any potential side effects.

Phase 3: This phase is focused on confirming the efficacy of the intervention in a larger group of people who have the condition being targeted by the intervention. The aim is to gather more definitive data on the effectiveness of the intervention and to identify any rare side effects.

Phase 4: This phase is focused on the surveillance of the intervention after it has been approved for use by regulatory agencies. The aim is to monitor the long-term safety and effectiveness of the intervention in a large population.

The number of people needed for each phase can vary depending on the treatment being tested. Clinical trials are important for people with MS because they help determine if new drugs or other interventions are safe and effective.

Participating in clinical research may provide early access to new treatments and improved quality of life for the individual, but it can also benefit many others in the MS community.

MS Australia hosts a Clinical Trials Network website that lists clinical trials and research studies for MS available in Australia and New Zealand, encouraging high-quality clinical MS research and increasing awareness of clinical trials and research studies for people with MS.

The MS Australia Clinical Trials Network

The clinical trials and research studies underway in Australia and New Zealand for MS are at various stages, with some focused on the safety and effectiveness of new drugs while others are exploring alternative interventions, including online treatments for wellbeing and changes in lifestyle.

The Wellbeing Neuro Course is a research study that aims to remove the barriers (e.g., costs, limited trained clinicians, mobility issues) people with MS face when attempting to access effective psychological care. The course uses an innovative approach that combines cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and compensatory cognitive rehabilitation to target several areas of mental health and functional disability.

Another alternative intervention research study, Project BASE, aims to assess the feasibility of a study involving people with MS in an exercise program. Participants will take part in a four-month at-home exercise program guided by a team of BASE physiotherapists, occupational therapists and/or exercise therapists.

One area of research currently receiving a lot of attention is the use of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) for highly active or treatment-resistant MS. AHSCT involves chemotherapy followed by the reinfusion of a person’s own stem cells to regrow a more “tolerant” immune system.

There are three trials, two of which are still recruiting, looking at the risks and benefits of AHSCT.

Clinical trials are a crucial part of the medical research process, providing the scientific evidence necessary to develop new treatments and interventions that can improve the lives of millions of people.

We give thanks to the MS researchers and volunteers who participate in clinical trials, and we celebrate their contribution to advancing medical knowledge and improving the lives of people living with MS around the world.

Visit the MS Australia Clinical Trials Network to find out more about the clinical trials and research studies currently recruiting in Australia and New Zealand.

web-informs

InforMS: a new MS management app co-designed by people with MS

People living with MS explain why they love the new...
new-tools-web

New tools for MS researchers launched to enhance clinical outcomes research

MS Australia-supported researchers have developed a suite of free tools...

Want us to keep you in the loop? Subscribe today!

  • Enter your details

Read More
Navigating Friendships with Chronic ConditionsNewly identified molecules could explain the protective effect of UV light in MS

Newsletter subscription

  • Enter your details

Celebrating Clinical Trials Day