The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) has recognised the remarkable Australians who advance the health system through clinical trials at the virtual Clinical Trials 2020: National Tribute and Award Ceremony.
The Awards honour those who design, conduct and participate in ground-breaking clinical trials, and promotes the importance of clinical trials and the expertise and complexity of the work involved.
In officially opening the virtual ACTA 2020 Summit and the Awards Ceremony, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, acknowledged the work of our medical leaders and researchers as genuine national heroes, in a year that has been like no other.
Professor Anne Kelso, CEO of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) was the keynote speaker at the event.
Professor John Zalcberg, Board Chair of ACTA, said that whilst causing much hardship and suffering, COVID-19 had nevertheless created opportunities for the sector and put the vital role of trials into the spotlight.
“COVID-19 has raised the profile of our sector and our very talented researchers and clinicians. It has also highlighted the need for rapid approvals and sector adaptability, and posed important questions. For example, how can we be responsive to the current crisis, while still ensuring that treatment of many other important conditions continues despite difficult circumstances?” Professor Zalcberg said.
“This year’s Award winner demonstrates the innovation and collaboration that the sector is capable of, which is what I know will assist us in pursuing future medical advances.”
One trial scooped the pool at the Awards. The winner of the 2020 ACTA Trial of the Year Award, the ACTA STInG Award for Excellence in Trial Statistics and the Consumer Involvement Award was the ENZAMET Trial. The trial looked at whether adding enzalutamide to hormone therapy right at the beginning of treatment would improve the survival of men with metastatic prostate cancer.
Led by the Australian & New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group, the ENZAMET Trial showed impressive results including a 33% relative reduction in the risk of dying for men who received enzalutamide added to hormone therapy right at the beginning of treatment, compared to men who received the treatment after waiting for the cancer to grow after prior hormone treatment.
The ENZAMET Trial also demonstrated exceptional consumer involvement in the trial design and development through ANZUP’s Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP), which comprises people who have either had a cancer diagnosis or have cared for a family member or loved one. The CAP played a vital role in the provision of advice and feedback on the trial design and conduct from a community perspective, and ensured that the research was consumer-focused.
I am honoured to be part of a study that has had such impact for men with metastatic prostate cancer. Professor Ian Davis
Professor Ian Davis accepted the Trial of the Year Award, saying, “I’m honoured to be part of a study that has had such impact for men with metastatic prostate cancer. Professor Christopher Sweeney and I as co-chairs have been part of a talented and dedicated international team of researchers, staff, consumers, and most importantly, our trial participants. I could not be prouder than to have the ENZAMET Trial also acknowledged not only as Trial of the Year, but also for its excellence in trial statistics and consumer involvement.”