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International Clinical Trials Day

20 May 2016


Friday, 20th May, is International Clinical Trials Day  and will be marked by a series of events in hospital based cancer trials research centres around the country.

The cancer trials team in the Oncology Clinical Trials Unit Cork University Hospital will be organising information sessions in the hospital.

We would encourage anybody who would like to find out more about cancer trials at Cork University Hospital to come along and talk with members of our trial team. We would be delighted to answer your questions.

Prof Seamus O’ Reilly said that cancer trials were really important for finding new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer, and help improve the quality of life for people with cancer.

“New and more effective approaches cannot be developed without cancer trials”, he said.

“All cancer treatments used today were once tested through a cancer trial".

“Cancer trials allow access to new drugs and treatments and help us increase our knowledge on the best way to deliver these treatments".

“By taking part in a cancer trial patients help to test new ways to detect and treat cancer.”

International Clinical Trials Day celebrates the pioneering work of all who are involved in clinical trials around the world. 

The date itself has historical significance. 20th May 1747 is the day James Lind started what many consider the first clinical trial. That trial conducted among sailors found that citrus fruits cured scurvy. 

In Ireland most cancer trials take place in 20 hospital based cancer trials centres around the country including Cork University Hospital.

88% of patients who are participating in cancer trials are participating in All Ireland Co-Operative Oncology Research Group (ICORG) trials. During 2015, 20 hospital based research centres around the country were working on 154 ICORG trials involving 6312 patients; 66 were open and recruiting patients and 88 were in the follow up stage.

Of these 154 trials, 123 involved drugs and/or treatments, 29 were translational trials which involved analysing tissue and/or blood samples and 2 involved questionnaires and/or surveys.

Since it was established in 1996, more than 15,000 patients have participated in more than 350 ICORG cancer trials. 98% of all cancer treating specialists in Ireland are members of ICORG.

The value of drugs used during cancer trials provided by industry free of charge between 2012 and 2014 is estimated at €18M.

Further information links:

HRB-Clinical Research Facility-Cork

Oncology Clinical Trials Unit

Health Research Board