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ATACAS named 2017 Trial of the Year

Last Friday we celebrated the outstanding achievements of Australian clinical trials and honoured the people who make them possible at the annual Clinical Trials 2017 National Tribute and Awards Ceremony.

As part of celebrations marking International Clinical Trials Day (20 May), the ceremony recognised the significant advancements and improvements made to the health of Australians through public good clinical trials.

Each year, this event showcases nominees who are exemplars of large, complex multinational trials that have addressed a critical need or evidence gap in the Australian healthcare system, with the findings immediately applicable to improvements in clinical practice and patient care.

“It was an honour to celebrate the highest calibre of clinical trials conducted not only in Australia but on the international stage. We are privileged to have a world-class clinical community dedicated to addressing the gaps in our healthcare system to ensure we are delivering world-class care to all Australians”, said ACTA Chair, Professor John Zalcberg OAM.

In a ceremony, featuring an opening address by the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, the Trial of the Year was awarded to the Aspirin and Tranexamic Acid for Coronary Artery Surgery (ATACAS) Trial (N Engl J Med 2016; 374:728-737 & N Engl J Med 2017 376:136-148). In a worldwide study, led by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Clinical Trials Network (ANZCA CTN) and coordinated by Alfred Hospital and Monash University, the ATACAS trial explored the risks associated with aspirin and tranexamic acid before and after open heart surgery and involved over 4,600 participants in 31 hospitals in 7 countries.  

First runner up, the BOOST II Australia Trial (N Engl J Med 2016; 374:749-760) led by the Interdisciplinary Maternal Perinatal Australasian Collaborative Trials (IMPACT) Network and coordinated by the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, explored the benefits of oxygen saturation targeting through a randomised controlled trial testing the oxygen saturation levels used in very premature infants.

Finalist, Enhanced control for hypertension and thrombolysis stroke (ENCHANTED) Study (N Engl J Med 2016; 374:2313-2323), led by the Australasian Stroke Trial Networks and coordinated by The George Institute for Global Health, recruited from over 100 centres worldwide to demonstrate benefits and safer use of reduced dose of clot-busting drug rtPA for patients with acute stroke.

For the first time this year, the Excellence in Trial Statistics Award, introduced to bring recognition to the unique and critical role of specialist trial statisticians within the trials sector, was awarded to Tral of the Year finalist the Sleep Apnea Cardiovascular Endpoints (SAVE) Study (N Engl J Med 2016; 375:919-931). Led by the Australasian Sleep Trials Network & Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, and coordinated by The George Institute for Global Health, the SAVE Study identified that continue positive airway pressure (CPAP) does not reduce the risk of recurrent strokes and heart attacks for people with established cardiovascular disease, with findings drawn from nearly 3,000 people in nearly 100 hospitals worldwide.

“Trials like these are the mainstay of our high-quality healthcare system. They are integral to ensuring we can work more effectively and efficiently and above all provide the best possible care for our patients”, Professor John Zalcberg OAM.

ACTA would like to extend a huge thank you to all of our event partners, keynote speakers, finalists and attendees who contributed to the Clinical Trials 2017 National Tribute and Awards Ceremony. Look forward to seeing everyone in 2018!