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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are essential to determine whether new medicines, therapies or treatments are safe and effective. They are the fundamental to improving health.

South West Sydney is a dynamic centre for clinical trials.

At any given time we have over 300 trials open in a broad range of specialty areas. At the Ingham Institute and in South West Sydney Local Health District, through the work of our dedicated clinical trials units we have improved health outcomes for our community.

The different phases of clinical trial research

Clinical trials can evaluate medicines, procedures, medical devices, and other health treatments. They are divided into different stages, called phases. The earlier phase trials look at whether an intervention is safe and effective, whilst later phase trials aim to test whether new treatments are better than existing treatments.

Within South West Sydney we primarily conduct Phase II and Phase III trials.

  • Phase I clinical trials test a new drug or intervention for the first time, in a small group of people. The aim is to evaluate how safe the medicine is, how it works, and how well tolerated it is. These trials are generally very short, and have a high degree of supervision.
  • Phase II trials are conducted on a small group of people have a specific medical condition. The aim is to assess whether the intervention is safe and effective. These trials are also closely supervised.
  • Phase III trials generally involve many thousands of people from around the world. The aim is to show that the intervention is safe and effective for the treatment of a specific medical condition. These trials are monitored both locally and at an international level.
  • Phase IV These trials are done after the drug or intervention is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The aim of these trials is to obtain further information about the drug or intervention in widespread clinical practice.

Our clinical trial research partners

Within South West Sydney Local Health district we have over 20 clinical trials Groups that cover more than 15 different specialty areas. This footprint that covers Liverpool, Campbelltown, Bankstown, Bowral and Fairfield Hospitals. The largest groups work directly from the Ingham Institute with close ties to with University of New South Wales, and the Western Sydney University.

South West Sydney Clinical Trials Support Unit (CTSU)

Since early 2015 the Sout West Sydney Local Health District together with the support of the Ingham Institute established a clinical trials support unit (CTSU). This Unit provides supports our dynamic research culture and provides a framework for clinical trial governance that includes onsite Good Clinical Practice training, established Standard Operating Procedures and finance support services. We have achieved this through working closely with our supporting departments such as the Research and Ethics Office, Pathology and Pharmacy departments. We also place high emphasis in working with Sponsors and Researchers to drive efficient start up process and achieving successful recruitment targets.

High profile clinical trial research programs

In 2015, Ingham Institute’s Director of Palliative Care research and the SWSLHD Director of Clinical Trials Professor Meera Agar, received funding for Australia’s first medical cannabis trial for terminally ill cancer patients.
The trial is studying whether medical cannabis improves the quality of life for adults with terminal cancer. It will ascertain whether medicinal cannabis improves appetite and appetiterelated symptoms in people receiving palliative care for advanced cancer. It will also evaluate its potential to help with other symptoms including fatigue, low mood, weight loss, nausea, insomnia and pain.

The medical cannabis clinical trial represents a huge leap forward in the evaluation of treatment options available to terminally ill cancer patients in Australia. Other Ingham Institute researchers are working on clinical trials to find new treatments for conditions including multiple sclerosis and blood diseases, such as leukaemia and lymphoma.

If you think that yourself or someone you care for might benefit from participating in a clinical
trial please visit www.australianclinicaltrials.gov.au and speak with your doctor.

The Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Liverpool Hospital specialises in the care of patients with gastrointestinal and liver disease conditions. The Department also participates in many research activities including investigator-led research and sponsored clinical trials in liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The Department is committed to providing high quality care to our patients. Our participation in these research activities will allow us to gain a better understanding of these diseases and allow patients to have the opportunity to access new therapies. Our primary research areas include liver cancer, hepatitis B and C viral infections, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

A/Prof Miriam Levy (Hepatology) A/Prof Susan Connor (IBD)

The Liverpool Renal Clinical Research Centre [LRCRC] has been a widely respected participant in almost every major recent randomised clinical trial in the areas of Renal disease, Renal anaemia, Hypertension, Renal metabolic bone disease, Diabetes, Cardiovascular risk, Dyslipidaemia, Glomerulonephritis, Dialysis and Renal Transplantation as well as Pregnancy related medicine. The LRCRC group is led by Professor Michael Suranyi (Medical Director) and Professor Josephine Chow (Co-Director). The group has expertise in managing multiple clinical studies simultaneously, which have resulted in an extensive publication record. The group has made significant contributions to the Evidence Base in Renal Medicine and also to Renal clinical guidelines such as the Australian CARI Guidelines, which guide Australian clinical practice. This active clinical renal research unit ensures rapid translation of science to the bedside and helps to ensure that the Liverpool Hospital Renal Unit provides excellent clinical care adhering to World’s Best Practice.

A/Professor Suzanne Hodgkinson Neurologist has a strong interest in Multiple Sclerosis. There are now several Neurologists in the local area who have a strong MS focus. Their expertise, commitment and ongoing contributions now permit the Multiple Sclerosis clinic to offer a Multidisciplinary Services that includes Medical, Neuropsychological, and Nursing support.

The aim of the service is to provide support to clients with acute and chronic illness, in attempt to delay the onset of symptomatic disease and hospital admission.

The Multiple Sclerosis clinic participates in several International clinical trials thus providing access to the most innovative therapeutic interventions being explored.  The specialty focused clinic strives to promote and maintain clinical excellence and ensure new discoveries are rapidly and effectively applied to patients in the South Western Sydney Health Network.

Focuses on outcomes after orthopaedic trauma surgery, joint reconstruction or replacements, and hip fracture surgery. The group also focuses on physiotherapy rehabilitation after total knee replacement and clinical practice variations.

The Immunology and Allergy Unit at Campbelltown Hospital offers a comprehensive,multidisciplinary service to children and adults. We have a large population of patients with immunodeficiency and we have developed expertise and protocols for  home-based treatment. We have expertise in autoimmune disease diagnosis and management, employing newer therapies. Our allergy service  is extensive, catering to the needs of those with respiratory allergy, particularly severe asthma; dermatological conditions such as atopic dermatitis and urticaria; drug allergy, including  a drug testing service for perioperative anaphylaxis and antibiotic allergy; all aspects of food allergy, with a food challenge clinic in the paediatric service. We conduct a specialised angioedema and urticaria clinic catering for those requiring immunomodulating therapy and management of rare diseases.

Our Unit has a long history of conducting clinical trials and continues to participate in a number of international clinical trials investigating new monoclonal antibody therapy in severe asthma in adults and most recently, in children. We have conducted several studies using new treatments in the rare inherited disorder Hereditary Angioedema and in clinical trials with immunodeficiency treatment. We participate in a multicentre paediatric study investigating peanut allergy in children and have conducted original research into behavioural aspects of food allergy. Drug allergy is another area of active research for our unit. Finally, we have conducted aerobiological surveys of the South West Sydney region for the last 10 years offering daily pollen count reporting via a free app during the Spring. We are major participants in an NHMRC grant for setting up pollen monitoring throughout Australia.

The Radiation Oncology Clinical Trials team coordinates clinical trials across both Liverpool and Campbelltown Hospitals. The Radiation Oncology departments at Liverpool and Campbelltown Hospitals have a long history of participation in clinical trials to improve the outcomes of patients. The team has a strong focus on investigator initiated and collaborative group clinical trials in radiation oncology. Areas of focus are in prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer , gastric cancer, head and neck cancers, central nervous system cancers, plus other areas.

For any Radiation Oncology Clinical Trials enquiries, please contact RadOnc.ClinicalTrials@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

The Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Clinical Trials Unit at Campbelltown Hospital is part of the South Western Sydney Local Health (SWSLHD) District Diabetes Obesity Metabolism Translational Research Unit (DOMTRU) and Western Sydney University School of Medicine. The Unit works closely with the Macarthur Diabetes Service, other SWSLHD diabetes services, and local general practitioners to undertake clinical trials relating to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, other forms of diabetes, endocrinology, obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Studies include Phase III trials into pharmacological products (eg different types of insulin, oral diabetes agents, agents to prevent diabetes and its complications) and Investigator led studies such as the NHMRC funded ‘Treatment of Booking Gestational Diabetes Mellitus’ (TOBOGM) multicentre randomised controlled trial. The Unit is the lead site for several studies and works with other diabetes services in Greater Western Sydney, other Sydney/New South Wales diabetes services, Canberra, Victoria and South Australia. We are part of a number of international studies including TRIALNET (funded by the National Institutes of Health in the USA and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and MiTY, (funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research) We have a large pool of patients with diabetes, committed staff and are keen to maximise access to global quality trials and their associated benefits.



Professor David Simmons FRACP FRCP MD (Cantab)

Clinical Trials Coordinator (Contact) Claudia Bishop

Professor Meera Agar leads South Western Sydney Local Health District in Palliative Care Research. Our research team works closely with PaCCSC which is a collaborative group lead by Professor David Currow. Palliative care provides a rich and challenging set of research questions, which takes into consideration the many complex medical, ethical and psychosocial issues. This field of research has a strong focus on the management of symptoms and how we can improve the quality of life for participants who have a terminal illness. Palliative research encompasses not only cancer related issues; other life threatening chronic illnesses such as COPD & Renal Failure which is supported by the Renal Supportive Care Team are also included. Areas of research expertise surrounding the palliative patient include nausea, delirium, breathlessness and pain. Our team also partakes in a Global pharmacovigilance study which is aimed at understanding the burden of adverse drug reactions and their impact on symptoms at end of life. Finally, palliative care research strives to contribute towards evidenced based practices that are pivotal to providing care that optimises wellbeing, thereby reducing the burden to patient and caregivers.

Find out more

If you think that you or someone you care for might benefit from participating in a clinical trial please speak with your doctor.

You can also find out more about clinical trials by visiting Australian Clinical Trials.

To learn more about sponsoring a Clinical Trial at the Ingham Institute, contact us today.