High class ACTA outing


Over 400 national and international stakeholders came together at the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance conference last week to discuss global advances in the development of self-improving healthcare systems.

The three-day event was opened by The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, who emphasised the importance of clinical trials in delivering high-quality care, innovation and economic value to the health care system. International speakers ranged from Harvard (US), NIHR (UK), Imperial College London and The Lancet (UK).

The CTC was front and centre throughout the conference, chairing five sessions, and delivering presentations, posters and free papers for discussion. Our Saskia Cheyne won the best moderated poster award, A/Prof Rachael Morton and the SWIFT trial team picked up the best poster award, and Dr Karen Bracken took out the best presentation award.

Presenters from the CTC included:

  • A/Prof Rachael Morton, Mr Blaise Agresta and Dr Mbathio Dieng on ‘Health economic evaluation alongside randomised trials - essential for policy change
  • Dr Liz Barnes and Dr Sherilyn Goldstone on ‘Getting your paper published where you want
  • Prof Ian Marschner, A/Prof Andrew Martin and Prof Val Gebski on ‘Data safety and monitoring - the ABC of SDMCs
  • Prof Ian Marschner on ‘Estimating treatment effects following adaptive clinical trials
  • Prof John Simes on ‘Comparative effectiveness research: the SOCRATES proposal
  • A/Prof Rachael Morton on ‘A framework for evaluating research priorities

The following CTC people presented posters at the conference:

  • Ms Sharon Atkinson-Briggs on ‘Clinical Characteristics Of An Indigenous Primary Healthcare Population
  • Dr Karen Bracken on ‘Improving engagement with trial participant newsletters using theory-based enhancements’ and on ‘High-volume, low-cost participant screening and enrolment
  • Prof William Tarnow-Mordi on ‘Alternatives to waiver of consent in the NHMRC TORPIDO 30/60 trial of two initial concentrations of oxygen for preterm infants at delivery
  • Miss Saskia Cheyne on ‘The advantages of prospective meta-analyses in health research
  • Dr Kristy Robledo on ‘An approach for measuring developmental outcomes in neonatal trials
  • Mr Chris Brown on ‘Modern statistical workflow for efficient reporting of clinical trials
  • Assoc Prof Rachael Morton on ‘Improving the evidence base for routine use of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs)

We had staff who also presented free papers for discussion. These included:

  • Gillian Heller on ‘A new approach to the design of basket oncology trials in rare tumours’
  • Prof Val Gebski on ‘Recurrent Time-to-Event Models with Ordinal Outcomes’
  • A/Prof Andrew Martin on ‘Changes to Aspects of Ongoing Randomised Controlled Trials with Fixed Designs’
  • Dr Lucille Sebastian on ‘The Molecular Screening and Therapeutics (MoST) program
  • Dr Karen Bracken on ‘Marketing and trial recruitment

About ACTA

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance's mission is to promote effective and cost‐effective healthcare in Australia through investigator‐initiated clinical trials and clinical quality registries that generate evidence to support decisions made by health practitioners, policy‐makers, and consumers.

Clinical trials networks are collaborative groups of practicing clinician researchers (often several hundred per network) that come together to identify important clinical questions and design large multi-centre clinical trials to answer them. Some also conduct trials in collaboration with industry but the majority have a strong focus on investigator-initiated trials that can provide unbiased, high-quality scientific evidence of the effectiveness or cost effectiveness of interventions.

The CTC's John Simes and Tony Keech are founding members of ACTA. Tony is Convenor of ACTA's 2019 conference.