Researchers ask people to get involved in International Clinical Trials Day with the mock 'Chocolate Trial'

16 May 2016
International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) is celebrated around the world each year to commemorate the day that James Lind started his famous trial on the deadly disease scurvy.

Since then clinical trials have grown and are now embedded within healthcare.

ICTD is to raise awareness of the importance of research to healthcare and how NHS’ around the country have grown in developing high quality research. 

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at Cambridge University Hospitals and Cancer Research UK are collaborating to raise awareness to patients, public and staff about the importance of clinical research. 

On Friday 20th May, staff involved with clinical trials on the CUH campus will be holding a stall in the main concourse to talk about their work and how people can take part. There will also be a demonstration of a mock clinical trial, ‘The Chocolate Trial’. 

Volunteers who agree to take part will be given one of two types of chocolate, at random, and asked to rate their feelings after eating it. This will give people a chance to understand what the consent process and participating in a research trial is like. The chocolate has been generously donated by the Cambridge shop Chocolat Chocolat. 

Julia Forman, Research Associate said: “We’re looking forward to International Clinical Trials Day, and the opportunity to talk with members of the public about clinical trials. We encourage people to come along to our stall to find out about research and learn about taking part in a clinical trial.”

Cambridge has lots of research studies on a range of health conditions that people could participate in, from cardiovascular, cancer, dementia and women’s health. Currently there are around 1,500 on-going trials on the campus for people with and without health conditions.

Duncan Jodrell, Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, said, “The support for the Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre (CCTC) that we receive from Cancer Research UK and the Cambridge BRC enables us to participate in over 130 clinical trials that are actively recruiting patients and many more in follow up.  These patients are able to access cutting edge, novel therapeutic approaches at the earliest stages of their development. Many of these trials are either led by clinicians from Addenbrooke’s and/or include translational research studies, led from labs in the Cambridge Cancer Centre.”  

The stall will be in the main concourse, before the food court between 11:30 – 14:00 on Friday 20th May, all are welcome to learn about clinical trials.