How we began

The CTC was established in October 1988 to coordinate large multicentre clinical trials in Australia and to promote high quality clinical trials research. It was acknowledged that therapeutic advances are generally modest in size, and large trials are needed to provide convincing evidence. A unit grant was provided by the NHMRC to provide better health outcomes through research. 

Our first home was in the Edward Ford Building at the University of Sydney. Founder, Professor John Simes, was joined shortly after by Professor Tony Keech and Professor Val Gebski.

In its first year, the CTC undertook eight large scale clinical trials recruiting over 2,000 patients together with 500 investigators from 90 centres in Australia and New Zeland. Staff numbers grew to 17 and included biostatisticians, computer systems experts, trial coordinators, research fellows and a deputy director (Prof Tony Keech).

Over the decades, the CTC added new research and expertise in treatments and therapies for premature babies and various kinds of cancer, the economics around trials, translating research into clinical practice, reviewing existing trial evidence to make new findings, and in biostatistics. 

Today, we collaborate with six national cancer bodies, we are home to the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry and the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia, and we continue to educate the next generation of researchers and clinicians, thirty years on.