Patients at NBMLHD leading the way in medical innovation through clinical trials

NSW Gov

Clinical trials at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) are transforming patient care while advancing health research. With over 150 active trials in more than 20 therapeutic areas, NBMLHD offers patients a unique opportunity to contribute to medical breakthroughs while potentially receiving advanced treatment options.

Medical Oncologist, Deme Karikios sits on clinic bed, hands folded, smiling

Dr Deme Karikios, Medical Oncologist at Nepean Cancer and Wellness Centre

Dr Deme Karikios, Medical Oncologist at Nepean Cancer and Wellness Centre, says when patients participate in clinical trials, they’re getting a great opportunity to contribute to the future of health care.

“Trials can provide a number of benefits to patients, including giving them access to promising medicines that might not yet be available,” says Deme.

Wayne Singleton from the Blue Mountains, a patient of Deme’s, was undergoing treatment for metastatic prostate cancer when he was invited to participate in the Australian-led ENZAMET trial, an international study which focused on helping patients live longer and feel better.

“I think being on a trial puts you in a special category. If I hadn’t been on the trial, I would just go to the GP every quarter, and get an injection. On the trial, I’d go into the cancer centre and my prescription is waiting for me, I am under the care of a Clinical Trials Research Nurse and I see Deme more frequently,” says Wayne.

Self-portrait of Wayne Sullivan, at beach location

Wayne Sullivan, Nepean Cancer Care patient and Enzamet Clinical Trial participant

Wayne’s participation, along with countless others, has had a ripple effect that extends far beyond patients.

“What Wayne has done is help contribute to a change in the way prostate cancer is treated. By being brave enough to volunteer his time to a clinical trial, Wayne has not only got access to a valuable treatment, he has also contributed to research which has allowed the medicine to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making it accessible to a wider range of patients,” says Deme.

Seeing patients benefit from trials is incredibly rewarding for medical professionals like Deme, who are dedicated to advancing health care.

Inspired by his experience, Wayne encourages others to consider participating.

“Always ask about trials during your consultations. Whenever I get the opportunity, I tell people to ask about trials,” says Wayne.

NBMLHD clinical trials meet ethical and the scientific quality standards to ensure outcomes can be embedded as best practice and routine care. For patients considering participating in a clinical trial, you are encouraged to speak with your treating team regarding opportunities and whether you qualify as a suitable candidate.

Clinical Trials Day is celebrated globally on 20 May to recognize the day that James Lind, a ship’s surgeon in the British Royal Navy, started what is often considered the first randomised clinical trial (in this case, to study the effects of different treatments on scurvy in sailors), on 20 May 1774.

/Public Release. View in full here.