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Current Controlled Trials


September 2012


As a registered user of Current Controlled Trials (CCT) we hope that you find this edition of our quarterly newsletter informative. We encourage you to share these updates with friends and colleagues and to send us any feedback you may have.


We have introduced a new statistics page to give users an overview of studies represented in the ISRCTN register. These statistics include study domains, top countries registering and the number of UK related trials. UK related trials are recruiting or have recruited participants from the UK and are included in the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG). As with all trial records on the CCT website, these statistics are free to access. If you are interested in more detailed statistics and reporting from the ISRCTN database please contact the editorial office.

Lay summaries

Since the ISRCTN register introduced a lay summary field in June 2011, it has teamed up with CancerHelp UK and developed guidelines. Today over 500 lay summaries, which are required for every registered trial, have been added to ISRCTN trial records.

Lay summaries, currently written by trialists, are important to increase accessibility of scientific information to a wider audience including non-scientists. Lay summaries may also help improve patient recruitment to the trial. CCT is involved in numerous discussions with the Department of Health and medical charities to improve accessibility to patient-friendly information. In the near future, we will be conducting a survey to gather feedback from our users on current and future approaches to providing lay-friendly summaries.

UK Clinical Trials Gateway

The UKCTG launched in 2011, with the aim of making clinical trial information easily accessible to the public and improving patient participation in future trials. The UKCTG is keen to improve and strengthen the website and welcomes suggestions from users to develop and improve the services it provides. UKCTG Logo

Pragmatic trials under discussion

A recent entry on the BMJ Blog discusses the challenges of implementing medical evidence in real-world settings. While trials are considered the gold standard for assessing healthcare interventions they can also have limitations. 'Pragmatic trials', of which there are currently nearly 200 in the ISRCTN database, are advocated by some trialists. More information on pragmatic trials can found in a review by Sean Treweek and colleagues published in the journal Trials.

The future of Current Controlled Trials

Trials recently saw its Impact Factor rise to 2.5, an achievement that reflects the quality of content in the journal.  The TREAD study protocol, for example, was published in Trials after registered with ISRCTN through CCT and was completed this year with the results published in the BMJ and reported across the world's mainstream media. You can now keep updated on newly registered protocols via a live feed from CCT on the Trials homepage, which will automatically update with the latest registered trials from across the globe.

Trials also continues to publish the new 'update' article format, providing authors with the opportunity to add to previously published work with, for example, newly analysed results or a change to a protocol, without developing a new research or protocol article. To submit an update, registered protocol, or trial result visit the Trials website.
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