Clinical Research at SWFT

Introduction to clinical research at SWFT

At South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, we are committed to operating a dynamic programme of clinical research to pave the way for new approaches to treatment and care.

Clinical research is a vital means of developing these new approaches to patient treatment and care for a wide range of illnesses and conditions. It allows us to assess the efficacy of new medicines, treatments and diagnostic regimes, providing evidence we can use to benefit patients. We operate an evolving programme of research studies that have great potential to create long-term improvements for patients everywhere. Through our research studies the team is also able to deliver immediate improvements for the patients that have volunteered to take part in them.

We currently undertake a wide range of studies ranging from simple questionnaires to drug trials at Warwick Hospital, Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital and Stratford Hospital. Patients may be invited to take part in a clinical study whilst they are treated at the hospital.

Our Research team also works closely with national and local organisations concerned with developing these new approaches to patient treatment and care.


What are we working on at the moment?

We currently have several clinical trials in operation. A number of these are focused on developing new approaches to treating certain types of cancer.

The PACE clinical trial

In May 2020, we opened the PACE clinical trial which is looking at the impact that COVID-19 has on patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome – both types of blood cancer.

These patients have a compromised immunity and the data we are gathering will be used to develop informed recommendations for the care of this vulnerable group of patients in the future. We are also taking part in a vaccine sub-study which is looking at immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome.

The RAMPART clinical trial

In September 2020 we opened the RAMPART clinical trial. This trial offers patients with resected renal cancer the opportunity to access a new immunotherapy regimen that is not currently available as standard. Normally, patients with high to intermediate-risk resected renal cancer are not offered adjuvant treatment post-surgery (treatment that involves the use of an ingredient which improves the effectiveness of post-surgery medications).

With this type of disease, unfortunately 30 – 70% of patients will relapse and sadly go on to develop metastatic disease. Our trial is aiming to improve the outcome for these patients by offering immunotherapy treatment to reduce the risk of recurrence. We have successfully recruited two patients to this trial and have screened a further thirteen.

The TransRAMPART clinical trial

In January 2021, we were able to open the TransRAMPART trial and we were very proud that we were the first trust in the UK to open this study, which is investigating biomarkers in patients’ blood and tissue which may help to predict the prognosis of patients with kidney cancer. We have so far recruited two patients to this study.

The RUDY study

In May 2021, we opened this study which aims to determine the immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with myeloma. 22 patients have been recruited to date.

We have multiple cancer clinical trials that are currently being set-up for patients with breast cancer, polycythaemia vera (a type of blood cancer), myeloma, follicular lymphoma (a cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes), colorectal cancer and high-grade lymphoma.

The benefits of cancer treatment research studies

The clinical benefit of undertaking cancer research includes access to the most novel and innovative cancer therapies. It has led to new drug treatments, a greater understanding of how to prevent cancer, new ways of delivering treatments and new surgical techniques. Cancer clinical trials are critical to advances in the understanding and treatment of cancer and to ensure patients have the opportunity to access world-class cancer treatments.

There is evidence to suggest that clinical research activity is a driver for high-quality cancer care with better outcomes for patients who are treated in research-intensive hospitals (National Institute for Health Research, 2014).


Our other current studies

The MAP study

In maternity care we are currently delivering the MAP study which is looking into the best tools for detecting perinatal mental health concerns in pregnant and postnatal women.

Through this study we hope to increase the number of women we detect with perinatal health concerns so that we can start to offer them the tailored support they need. Ultimately, by detecting and supporting these women, we are aiming to reduce the maternal mortality rate from suicide.

The Big Baby clinical trial

We have been recruiting into the Big Baby clinical trial since 2018. This trial is looking at the timing of delivery for pregnant ladies where the baby is measuring above the 90th centile on scan. The aim of this trial is to see if an early induction might reduce the incidences of shoulder dystocia, an obstetric emergency where the baby’s shoulders get stuck in the birth canal which can result in morbidity or mortality, as well as other complications associated with larger babies.

We’re currently developing the information we have about our research programme on our website, and will be posting more information and insights into the programme on this page in the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the work we’re doing, you can email us at research@swft.nhs.uk.