QVH celebrates international clinical trials day

Thursday 16th May 2019

QVH celebrates international clinical trials day

Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) is gearing up to mark International Clinical Trials day on Monday 20 May.

This date is chosen for celebrations because it was the day James Lind, Scottish doctor and pioneer of naval hygiene, started the first ever clinical study in 1747, testing the cause of scurvy in sailors.

At QVH last year a total of 887 patients were recruited into research studies (2018-19), with 640 of those taking part in prestigious national portfolio studies. This was an increase of 67% on the year before.

Participating in health research helps develop new treatments, improve NHS services and save lives. Evidence also suggests that patients who receive care in research-active institutions have better health outcomes than those who do not.

QVH case study: NINJA (nail bed injury analysis)

We treat about 500 patients every year for injuries to the fingernail bed and the majority of these are children. A nail bed injury affects the soft tissue underneath the nail as well as the nail itself and is often caused by a child jamming their finger in a door or getting their finger stuck in an object. Surgery is needed to repair the injury underneath the fingernail, and to do this the nail needs to be removed to help the new nail grow out smoothly and look as normal as possible in the future. It normally takes about four months for a new nail to grow out from the base.

Traditionally the nail was replaced after the nail bed was repaired, but recently it has been suggested that discarding the fingernail and allowing it to regrow over the next four months may give positive results.

QVH is currently the highest-recruiting trust in the country for the national NINJA (paediatric nail bed injury analysis) study, which is being run in about 25 hospitals around the UK. This study, which is being led by QVH burns researcher Simon Booth, compares whether replacing the fingernail is better than not replacing it.

QVH case study: Xen 45

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of visual impairment and blindness worldwide and a significant healthcare problem. More than 79 million people worldwide are projected to suffer from glaucoma by 2020, and research has found approximately a quarter of these cases will be angle closure glaucoma, which is caused by a sudden increase in intraocular pressure, the pressure within the eye.

QVH was the first UK site to recruit into an ongoing international study into the use of Xen 45 – a small, permanent, flexible implant.

Ophthalmic consultant surgeon Gok Ratnarajan is leading the trial at QVH with angle closure glaucoma patients, to evaluate the safety of Xen 45 and how effective it is at lowering the pressure within the eye.

QVH case study: JaWPrinT

This is an observational study comparing the use of 3D printed titanium plates in lower jaw reconstruction with traditional surgical techniques. It is a two-centre study, which is being run with the University of Swansea.

The results of these studies will be published in due course.

Steve Jenkin, chief executive, said: “We are really proud of our contribution to clinical research, both home grown studies and those we contribute to nationally and internationally. Clinical practice would not be able to move forward without research so we are hugely grateful to patients for giving their consent and time to participate in clinical trials.”

Information about ways to get involved with clinical trials may be found on the National Institute for Health Research website