Clinical trials are the foundation for medical advancement. They contribute towards increasing patient recovery and reducing the side effects of cancer treatment. Conducting comprehensive, high-quality clinical trials represents one of the primary activities at UCT Frankfurt-Marburg. Every year, UCT Frankfurt-Marburg conducts more than 350 oncological clinical trials, including studies in both early and late phases (Phase I-III) as well as more than 70 investigator-initiated trials by UCT clinicians and scientists. Phase I/II clinical trial activities take place at dedicated phase I/II units at all three UCT sites. Clinical trials currently being conducted throughout the region and at Frankfurt University Hospital, Nordwest Hospital and Marburg University Hospital can be accessed through our UCT Trial Registry database.
This extensive portfolio is not only essential for the scientific work of numerous research groups, but also provides patients at UCT Frankfurt-Marburg access to innovative therapeutics. For this reason, one of our principle objectives is to promote and support clinical trial research in all ways possible.
One of the most important organizational units of the UCT Frankfurt-Marburg is the Clinical Trial Center Network (CTCN). The CTCN consists of the CTCN Office, the clinical trial sites, the clinical trial coordination centers and the phase I/II units located at the three UCT Frankfurt-Marburg sites. The CTCN serves to pool expertise and make use of resulting synergies. It provides quality, pragmatic support and centralized services to participating trial sites and staff: maintaining the UCT Study Registry and keeping key research data accessible; organizing research-related training like Good Clinical Practice (GCP) courses; providing software for specific research purposes. By organizing regular meetings for its members, the CTCN strengthens collaboration between teams and provides researchers a platform for exchanging views and experiences.
CTCN is made up of a collaboration of more than 80 study coordinators, study nurses, medical documentalists and a large number of investigators and other specialized research personnel. The CTCN staff has extensive experience in conducting trials in all phases, including trials using medical products, and is regularly trained and educated in Good Clinical Practice (GCP).
The trial sites, some of which are accredited with several certifications, have a comprehensive quality management system in place, which is organized upon a common set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for conducting clinical trials within the UCT Frankfurt-Marburg. The SOPs are regularly adjusted to meet changing conditions. If necessary, SOPs are amended with new sets of instructions.
The focus of participating trial sites in the CTCN is mostly on therapy trials; however, observational, supportive and biomarker studies as well as studies on quality of life and other study topics also have their place. Centers of the UCT Frankfurt-Marburg are not only sites for studies of external academic sponsors and the pharmaceutical industry, but they also initiate own academic trials (IITs) – some of which are large national and international multi-center trials.
The UCT Frankfurt-Marburg Trial Registry indexes oncological trials by organ system, tumor type and other indicators respectively. Additional short information can be retrieved for each trial found in the database, which includes information on target population, inclusion and exclusion criteria and the study design. Access to the registry is open to the public.
In addition to running clinical trials at the three UCT sites (University Hospital Frankfurt, Nordwest Hospital Frankfurt and University Hospital Marburg), additional studies are currently in place at clinics and hospitals within the Hessian Oncology Directive (HOK) districts of Frankfurt-Offenbach, Giessen-Marburg, Fulda-Bad Hersfeld and Darmstadt. All in all, the registry guarantees an extensive overview of regional clinical trials, which serves as a means for improving the care and referral of cancer patients.