May 17, 2018  Print

International Clinical Trials Day pays tribute to the patients and researchers involved in trials and acknowledges the role clinical trials play in improving our treatment options and overall health.

To celebrate the Day, we are highlighting some of the clinical trials our researchers are involved in, which could make major improvements to the lives of people affected by schizophrenia, polycystic kidney disease, type 1 diabetes and leukaemia. 

Supplementing schizophrenia treatment
Associate Professor Anthony Harris
is leading a Sydney-site trial that will investigate whether an over-the-counter nutritional supplement, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can improve treatment for schizophrenia. NAC will be given alongside Clozapine, an antipsychotic drug that, while effective, may not alleviate all symptoms, such as memory loss and lack of motivation, for some patients.

By using both NAC and Clozapine, researchers hope to target these symptoms, and improve the quality of life for people who have schizophrenia. Read more


Could water treat for polycystic kidney disease?
Dr Gopi Rangan (pictured) and Professor David Harris are part of a Westmead team investigating whether water could prevent kidney failure in people with adult polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), a disease in which the kidneys deteriorate because of cysts. 

Water stops the hormone that makes these cysts growing, offering a potential treatment that is both cheap and effective. If successful, the trial could have major health benefits for people with the disease. Read more. 


Curing type 1 diabetes
Pioneering research from our Centre for Transplant and Renal Research led to the development of Australia’s first successful Islet Transplant Program. The transplant procedure gives life-saving hope to high-risk diabetes sufferers by transplanting healthy pancreas cells into the recipient’s liver.

Year after the transplant, many patients remain insulin-free. Professor Philip O’Connell, Director of our Centre for Transplant and Renal Research, led the Program at Westmead Hospital. Read more. 


Life-saving hope for leukaemia patients
Leukaemia and lymphoma sufferers will have access to a potentially life-saving cancer treatment courtesy of an Australian-first clinical trial out of Westmead, led by Dr Ken Micklethwaite from our Bone Marrow Transplant and Cell Therapies Group.

The trial uses a gene-therapy treatment that turbocharges a patient’s immune system to destroy blood cancer cells and fight the disease. Unlike chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, gene-therapy uses living cells not toxic drugs and chemicals. Read more.