Platform trials

Platform trials help integrate clinical trials into routine healthcare delivery. In doing this, they replace existing ad hoc (random) variation in current treatments. It is only possible to generate new knowledge about which treatment options work best when treatment options are randomised.  

Therefore, the purpose of a platform trial is to compare different options to determine which is the most effective.

  • Many clinical decisions made in medical centres worldwide are not informed by high-quality evidence. This has led to a big variation in clinical practice.
  • Without high quality evidence it is impossible to know whether such variation is warranted.
  • It also highlights the need for comparative effectiveness research or platform trials to determine the best treatment option.
    This can be done when:
    • two or more treatment options exist for a particular clinical problems and in widespread use
    • all treatment options are known or believed to be safe and effective
    • it is not known which option is best.

Platform trials are an emerging research field at St John of God Health Care.

In 2016-2017, we will develop the research infrastructure to enable our trials to start as well as engage with surgeons, anaesthetists and peri-operative physicians about the questions they believe should be prioritised.

Our focus will be on using this research to improve elective surgery patient outcomes. Our trials will evaluate multiple aspect of care including:

  • pre-operative evaluation and optimisation
  • aspects of anaesthesia and surgery that are subject to variation with no associated evidence
  • optimisation of post-operative care including managing pain relief and prevention or treatment of other complications.
Professor Steve Webb
Associate Professor Nik Zeps
Professor Matt Bellgard
Associate Professor Nolan McDonnell
Doctor Ed Litton
Doctor Paige Tucker

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