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Clinical trial is a game changer for David

Clinical trial is a game changer

David is one of the 2,500 people participating in a clinical trial at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

At any one time the Royal Adelaide Hospital has 140 staff working on over 300 clinical trials.

 These trials contribute to South Australia’s national and global standing in the world of medical research, are an important part of clinical practice within a major research and teaching hospital, and are the cornerstone of a health system that is evidence informed, forward thinking and committed to delivering the best possible health care.

They also change lives.

A father and grandfather, David is very grateful to be taking part in an immunotherapy clinical trial with the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Cancer Clinical Trials Unit. Immunotherapies are treatments that trigger the body’s own immune system to fight diseases such as cancer.

His participation in the trial has given him a real sense of hope and wellbeing. In fact, his journey to participating in the trial involved a couple of moments of serendipity.

The first was thanks to AFL star and Hawthorn captain, Jarryd Roughead.

“I heard about immunotherapy through the football player who got cancer…Jarryd Roughhead. He was interviewed on TV...This was before I had any problems with my cancer …and he’d had immunotherapy treatment.

“It stayed in my mind that he had this treatment and that he came out of it all good. So a couple of years on when I got melanoma I said to my partner ‘oh I know the treatment, it’s immunotherapy’.”

David’s second moment of serendipity was Professor Michael P. Brown, head of the RAH Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, occupying the office next door to David’s specialist. When the specialist was unable to answer all of David’s questions about immunotherapy he stepped next door to confer with Professor Brown.

“In the end Professor Brown came in. He was really nice and he said that there was a trial and that I might be eligible.”

David started on the trial last year at the old RAH and now receives immunotherapy every second Friday at the RAH’s Cancer Day Centre.

“I have my blood test done on the Wednesday before the visit on the Friday, and the results get put through to Professor Brown and he looks at them and sees how it’s all going.”

So far David has experienced few side-effects and remarkably he still works four days a week.

“Touch wood I’ve been pretty good so far. I’m just really grateful that this trial was available.”

For further information about clinical trials in CALHN please contact the CALHN Research Office at Health.CALHNResearchGovernance@sa.gov.au.

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