Research

BSG members win substantial funding for clinical trial

Several BSG members were co-applicants on a recent successful application for substantial funding of a clinical trial in hepatology. Prof Mark Thursz, Dr Steve Ryder, Prof Matthew Cramp, Dr Paul Richardson and Dr Stuart McPherson are among a group represented by Dr Alastair O’Brien. The group received £1.6 million from the Health Innovation Challenge Fund (joint Wellcome Trust and Department of Health) for ATTIRE (Albumin To prevenT Infection in chronic liveR failure).

The money will fund a multi-centre, clinical, phase II and phase III trial at 15 sites that will examine whether administration of albumin to patients admitted with decompensated liver failure, in order to increase plasma levels to near normal, will prevent hospital acquired infection. Dr O'Brien's local clinical research network (LCRN) will fund the research nurse costs (>£1million).

Over 100,000 patients are admitted to hospital every year with advanced liver cirrhosis; infection is their most common problem. Dr O’Brien and his team have shown that, in these patients, leukocyte function is markedly impaired by an up-regulation of the hormone Prostaglandin E2; infusion of albumin can reverse this process by binding and neutralising its effects. Albumin is widely considered by hepatologists to be beneficial in liver disease but no putative mechanism had been identified, so no consensus had developed for how to prescribe it. Dr O’Brien and colleagues aim to repurpose albumin as an immunity-restoring drug to improve leukocyte function in patients with advanced cirrhosis and therefore improve their ability to fight off infection. They hope to demonstrate that its use will lead to reduced rates of nosocomial infection and mortality and shorter hospital stays, thereby reducing health care costs.

ENDCaP-C Study: Enhanced Neoplasia Detection and Cancer Prevention in Chronic Colitis

CRN West Midlands is the Lead CRN for the ENDCaP-C study (Enhanced Neoplasia Detection and Cancer Prevention in Chronic Colitis: A Multicentre test accuracy study; UKCRN ID: 17739; Chief Investigator: Dr Tariq Iqbal). The study team would like to open an additional 10 sites nationally in order to reach their ambitious recruitment targets and identify more potential PIs. If you or your site might be interested in becoming involved, please review the trial summary and study detail and contact either This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Steve Johnson via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss the study further.

seAFOod Polyp Prevention Trial re-opens

26 Sept 2014
After a period of several months when recruitment was hampered by drug supply problems, this important chemoprevention trial set in the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) will be fully open for recruitment again in BCSP sites across England. Trial investigators: please be on the look-out for 'high risk' polyp cases needing one-year surveillance colonoscopy from the first week in October onwards. The Trial now needs to recruit a minimum 20 participants per month for the next 18 months or so in order to reach target. Together, we can prove that the BSG and BCSP can host large, practice-changing drug trials such as this. A big thank-you to all contributing to the Trial.
Mark Hull (Chief Investigator)

NIHR Specialty Group Newsletters

The NIHR CCRN produces a newsletter for the Specialty Groups.

PI Recognition

Earlier this year, all NIHR CRN Local Clinical Research Networks were asked to nominate 3 investigators who had made a difference to the NIHR CRN commercial portfolio under the following categories:

  • Consistently delivered to time and target
  • Delivered first commercial study
  • Delivered first global/ European patient
  • Top recruiter globally/Europe-wide
  • Worked above and beyond their call of duty to support commercial research
  • Overcame the challenges of a particularly difficult study
  • Excellent team leader and mentor

The BSG congratulates the following investigators, all of whom received signed certificates acknowledging their achievements:

Tariq Iqbal - University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust - GI
Kosh Agarwal - Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - Hep
Daniel Forton - St George's Hospital - Hep
Steve Ryder - Queen's Medical Centre - Hep
Raj Srirajaskanthan - University Hospitals Lewisham – Hep

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