A groundbreaking trial of medication for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) may soon see the condition treated by tablets or injections.
The USC Clinical Trials Centre has partnered with specialists from Coastal Digestive Health at Maroochydore to conduct research into IBD and potential treatments.
Director Lucas Litewa said trials were now underway, and would allow enable Queensland residents with IBD to join global research efforts without leaving the region.
“We are fostering this research environment with leading doctors to test some of the latest investigational medicines for these types of disorders,” he said.
Principal investigator Dr Hans Seltenreich of Coastal Digestive Health said three international randomised controlled trials were operating from the Maroochydore practice, involving patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Dr Seltenreich, a gastroenterologist, will work with practice colleagues Dr Sue Thackwray (co-investigator), IBD nurse practitioner Stephanie Buckton and research coordinator Sharon Kayrooz. The USC Clinical Trials Centre research specialist will be Sheona Page.
“Some of our patients have complex diseases for which current medications are not working; they may benefit from our involvement with the USC Clinical Trials Centre,” he said.
“Overall, this collaboration will enable patients to participate in global research while also raising the profile of the Sunshine Coast.
“The future goal of Coastal Digestive Health is to extend this research portfolio by offering clinical trials in areas such as fatty liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, eosinophilic esophagitis, interventional endoscopy and capsule endoscopy.”
IBD is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the digestive tract, a condition which affects more than 75,000 Australians. Common symptoms are diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramping, tiredness and weight loss.
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