This new unit makes it possible to coordinate and carry out complex clinical trials with drugs in the early development phase, thus studying and offering new treatment opportunities for cancer patients .
On March 4, 2021, the new Phase I onco-haematology trials unit of the Research Institute of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau – IIB Sant Pau, integrated into the Drug Research Centre (CIM) is started. Sant Pau, with a long history and experience in Clinical and Applied Research, and with a large participation and generation of clinical trials, has detected the need for this new unit in order to respond to the progressive increase in the number of studies, especially in the early stages.
The first patient to be treated in the new unit is participating in a clinical study that looks for alterations that make tumours more susceptible to responding to immunotherapy. This has made it possible to offer the patient a totally personalized therapy.
Phase I trials are increasingly important as they not only validate drug tolerance and toxicity, but also often allow, in first instance, previously undetected efficacy to be identified.
Currently, the Medical Oncology Service has 7 studies in Phase I, open in the recruitment phase. Until now, the patients included in these studies have been coordinated and treated at the Oncology and Haematology Day Hospital. “The opportunity to offer alternatives for therapeutic innovation in patients with advanced oncological diseases from this unit strengthens the capacity of the research groups and clinical services in Sant Pau. Today we start with this treatment, planning to develop up to 10 more trials in solid tumours and, in collaboration with the Clinical Haematology Service, we are willing to carry out a few more.” explains Dr. Agustí Barnadas, head of the Clinical Research Group in Oncology at the Research Institute of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, and head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.
“Having this equipment allows us to take a step forward and consolidate translational research, facilitating the development of new drugs and access to advanced and personalized therapies for patients“, says Dr. Jordi Surrallés, scientific director of the Research Institute of the Hospital of the Santa Creu i Sant Pau – IIB Sant Pau. “Initiatives like this give meaning to our new research building, which precisely promotes this close collaboration between research and clinical and healthcare practice“, he concludes.
The new unit consists of a 150 m2 space dedicated to Phase I clinical trials in onco-haematology, in addition to the 880 m2 that the Research Institute already dedicates to Phase I clinical trials with healthy volunteers. The Private Foundation of the Hospital has collaborated in the construction of the new facility, offering 7 treatment points and administrative, coordination, specialized nursing staff together with a medical team made up of oncologists and haematologists. It is estimated that the unit will host up to thirty studies this year and could offer advanced and innovative therapies in addition to more than 150 cancer patients.