It is an exciting time for the MRC CTU at UCL with two trials, QUARTZ and STAMPEDE, shortlisted for the BMJ UK Research Paper of the Year award.
This coveted award recognises original research that has the potential to contribute significantly to improving health and health care.
MRC CTU has precedent at this award, having previously won in the past for ARROW and FEAST. There is a huge amount of work that goes on at sites across the length of a trial and the nomination is a timely reminder of the hard collaborative work over the past few years.
The BMJ Awards, now in their ninth year, are the UK's leading medical awards and aim to recognise and celebrate the inspirational work of healthcare teams across the country. Over the past six months, more than 350 teams nationwide have submitted entries and of these just 60 have been shortlisted, with six shortlisted for UK Research Paper of the Year.
The QUARTZ trial aimed to find out whether whole brain radiotherapy for patients whose lung cancer has spread to the brain improves either survival or quality of life. The results suggested that whole brain radiotherapy provides little patient benefit and can be avoided in many patients. The shortlisted paper is titled ‘Dexamethasone and supportive care with or without whole brain radiotherapy in treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer with brain metastases unsuitable for resection or stereotactic radiotherapy (QUARTZ): results from a phase 3, non-inferiority, randomised trial.’
The STAMPEDE trial aims to prevent prostate cancer tumour re-growth by adding other treatment(s) to hormone therapy. The shortlisted paper is titled ‘Addition of docetaxel, zoledronic acid, or both to first-line long-term hormone therapy in prostate cancer (STAMPEDE): survival results from an adaptive, multiarm, multistage, platform randomised controlled trial.’ STAMPEDE is the largest ever prostate cancer treatment trial, and the results from the shortlisted paper have already changed practise for patients in the UK.
All entries also had the opportunity to express how their work has included patient and public involvement for the chance of winning a new prize this year. Consideration has been given to shortlisted research papers that are particularly strong on involving and working with patients in the design, implementation, or evaluation of the research. – so we look forward to the outcome! The BMJ Awards will be held on Thursday, 4 May at the Park Plaza Westminster.
Professor Mahesh Parmar, Director of the MRC CTU at UCL said “We are delighted to have two studies short-listed for this prestigious award. They reflect the breadth of work undertaken in the Cancer Group from evaluation of new therapies utilising novel trial designs to studies that address key practice-changing questions even when prognosis is limited. Both studies have improved outcomes for cancer patients.”