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Clinical research (clinical trials)

Clinical research at the ICO fundamentally follows two objectives: To contribute to improving cancer treatment and to offer patients the best therapy alternatives, with the assessment of new treatment 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 best clinical practices.

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 three ICO centres.

Within this framework, the simultaneous participation of all three 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 extended access protocols must be evaluated by the Pharmacotherapy Committee before the final decision on the participation of any centre is made, although, ideally, in the case of an affirmative decision, all three should take part.

The Clinical Research Units (UIC), crosscutting in nature and dependent on the head of clinical research and, therefore, the ICO Board of Science, are structures that assess and develop research involving patients at each centre, 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 is to:

- Cooperate independently in research involving ICO patients.
- Give support to researchers.
- Manage clinical trials on therapies.
- Generate their own lines of research.
- Actively take part in translational research programmes. Currently, work is being done in the areas of oncolytic viruses, the lung cancer biomarkers programme and angiogenesis.
- 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 that of the patient
- Studies are non-competitive
- Basic interest: quality of the study
- Importance of interdepartmental collaboration
- Promotion of the spirit of enquiry of staff
- 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 centres:


In this section you will find, among other things, how to request to carry out a clinical trial at the ICO L'Hospitalet, the protocol acceptance policy and the economic and administrative procedures that take place during the trial.

In this section you will find, among other things, how to request to carry out a clinical trial at the ICO Badalona, the protocol acceptance policy and the economic and administrative procedures that take place during the trial.

All the activities of our researchers in clinical trials and clinical research have produced results, which have been published in scientific journals. These documents contain the bibliographical references for these publications.

Update:  25.04.2012