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Clinical research (clinical trials)

The clinical research at the ICO aims to: contribute to the improvement of cancer treatment and offer patients the best alternatives among the new therapeutic strategies.

As part of this framework, the ICO follows a series of prior in-house standards to guarantee the scientific interest of clinical trials, in addition to complying with the requirements established in current legislation and with the standards of Good Clinical Practice.

The in-house directives of the ICO dealing with clinical research come from General Management, in consensus with the Board of Science. The latter launches lines of work aimed at carrying out clinical research with consistency, transparency and homogeneity among the ICO centres.

Within this framework, the simultaneous participation of all ICO centres in the greatest number of clinical trials possible is considered to be the optimum scenario, although the Institute can decide strategically how to distribute studies based on leading researchers and patients. 

The Clinical Research Units (UIC), transversal and multidisciplinary are dependent on the head of clinical research and, therefore, the Direction of Clinical Research, are structures that assess and develop research involving patients at each center, collaborating with leading researchers in each pathology and according to the lines of research promoted by the Institute.

ICO clinical research uses the UICs' online IT application to manage and homogenise activity.

- Assessment of new medicines to treat neoplastic diseases.
- Interaction between basic and clinical research, for the rapid transfer of discoveries in the genetic and molecular field to research involving patients, placing therapy under the spotlight of laboratory discovery.
- Participation in treatment consensus and strategic decision-making forums, through collaboration with national and international cooperative groups.
- Collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry in assessing and developing anti-cancer drugs in a balanced fashion, maintaining the intellectual independence of the ICO.

In 1997, the ICO created the first Clinical Research Unit at ICO l'Hospitalet, dedicated exclusively to the supervision and coordination of clinical research at the Institute. Later on, Clinical Research Units were created at ICO Girona and ICO Badalona.

The objectives of these units are:

- To cooperate independently in research involving ICO patients.
- To give support to researchers.
- To manage clinical trials on therapies.
- To generate their own lines of research.
- To actively take part in translational research programs..
- Research in statistical methodology.

Clinical research at the ICO is guided by a series of in-house standards, summarised below:

- Systematic assessment of trials (scientific, clinical and design interest; possibilities of recruitment, technical difficulties and practices and economic interest)
- The primary interest is the patient
- Promoting staff interest in research
- Basic interest: quality of the study
- Importance of interdepartmental collaboration
- Framework of non-competitive studies
- Self-financing
- Systematic cost analysis
- Design of own studies

Any sponsor interested in proposing a clinical trial to the ICO should do so at the following e-mail address, which will distribute the proposal to the ICO centers: uicico@iconcologia.net.

Update:  25.04.2012