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Earlier this month we celebrated the last five years of running and supporting excellent clinical trials that benefit patients and improve healthcare.

Group photo

On 6 December, over 90 members of the CTU came together to celebrate the last five years highlights and successes.

Just how good are the clinical trials here at the University of Oxford? Dr Ben Goldacre of the EBM DataLab, who gave an invited lecture on the state of trials across the UK and beyond, confirmed that we’re doing rather well. The University of Oxford consistently appears in the upper ranks of Dr Goldacre’s Trials Trackers, which measure elements of good trial conduct like trial registration and publishing the trial results.

Good conduct is great, but it isn’t enough. As Prof Matt Costa of the OCTRU trauma trials theme said, “Our trials need to change clinical practice. They need to benefit patients.” Each element of OCTRU is achieving just that. For example, the statistician team has developed skills in adaptive trials, which allow trials to be stopped early for lack of efficacy or high toxicity. Participants don’t join a trial destined to show no efficacy, saving their time. The Oxford Trauma team’s DRAFFT trial has changed the way surgeons deal with wrist fractures and has already saved the NHS £2 million. And the cancer team focuses on cancers of unmet need, looking at treatments for rare cancers that affect small groups of patients.

With over £31 million in funded trials in just five years, OCTRU has proven the success of its integrative support model for clinical trials and looked toward the next five years.