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The Rheumatology Clinical Trials Unit
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Our department boasts an active clinical trials unit which runs local, national and international clinical trials. This allows us to offer many of our patient’s access to cutting edge experimental treatments which are otherwise not available to them. We have had wide experience over the last 15 years with clinical trials in scleroderma and its various manifestations (skin disease, lung disease, digital ulceration, Raynaud’s phenomenon) and in pulmonary hypertension, where we have participated in most of the landmark clinical trials.

Our clinical trials unit is an integral part of the Rheumatology and Pulmonary hypertension departments. Some of our studies are early “first time in man” studies but most are part of large multi-centre randomised trials. Not all our trials involve medications – some of the studies are observational, in which information is gathered but no new experimental therapy is involved. We also trial simple things such as insoles for patients with painful feet in scleroderma!

There is a real buzz in our department. We are undergoing rapid expansion with the addition of several new members to our team in this year alone.

Our Rheumatology unit, lead by Professor Christopher P Denton, is a world renowned centre of excellence for care of patients with Scleroderma and connective tissue diseases. This service was initially created by Dame Carol Black, past President of the Royal College of Physicians. It is the largest of its kind in the world and there is a large basic science research program that sits alongside our clinical trials unit.

Our Pulmonary Hypertension Unit is a Nationally Designated centre, with satellite clinics in Dublin, Bath, Plymouth and Portsmouth, providing care for patients with Pulmonary Hypertension. Dr Gerry Coghlan, the service lead, is an internationally recognised leader and author in the field.

What are Clinical Trials?

How to Participate in a Clinical Trial
Each clinical trial has well defined entry criteria – and so long as you fit one of the trials we would be delighted to tell you about the trials and discuss them with you. We try to identify which trials might suit each of our patients, but feel free to ask us during clinic visits or to call us directly.

Once you have registered your interest or we have approached you we will give you information on the relevant study. You can then take your time to read this and discuss with your family, G.P or members of your clinical team.

If you decide to participate and you are eligible we can enrol you in the study.

If you would like to be included as a potential participant in one of our research studies we would be delighted to consider you, although most studies have very specific requirements for eligibility.

Please follow the link and register your interest in any of the following categories and a member of the trials team will be in touch with you, alternatively you can call the trials team on Tel: 0207 317 7544. You can also e-mail us at clinicaltrialsrfh@nhs.net .

  1. Scleroderma

  2. Pulmonary Hypertension

  3. Raynauds

  4. Digital Ulcers