Clinical Trials

What is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are studies that test the benefits and risks of medical treatments or interventions, such as a new drug. 

There is no compromise to a patient’s treatment on a clinical trial – they will either receive standard therapy or equivalent.

Every life-saving or life-enhancing medicine that is helping patients today once was the focus of a clinical trial.  

Types of Cancer Clinical Trials

Treatment Trials Test new treatments, new drug combinations, or new approaches to surgery or therapy.
Prevention Trials Search for better ways to prevent disease.  Approaches may include medicines, vitamins or lifestyle changes (such as exercise).
Diagnostic Trials Conducted to find better tests or procedures for diagnosing a particular disease or condition.
Screening Trials Test the best way(s) to detect certain diseases or health conditions.


All clinical trials in Australia must be reviewed and approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee.

They involve the ongoing support from hospitals and funding bodies, and require scientists and researchers to ask the important questions to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

Clinical trials are supported by the care and dedication of a local research team made up of doctors, nurses, and trial coordinators.

Most importantly patients play a pivotal role in clinical trials, and are crucial for helping to improve patient outcomes.

Clinical trials at Newcastle Private Hospital gives patients access to promising new medications, treatments or tests that may not be available outside of a clinical trial.

Clinical trials may provide benefit to patients, as in a clinical trial patients either receive the best available treatment or treatment that may be better.

Patients who are involved in a clinical trial get personalised care and ongoing support from the research team involved with their treatment.

If you wish to participate in a clinical trial, please speak with your treating oncologist to see if there is a current trial that you may be suitable for.

If you are considering a clinical trial at Newcastle Private Hospital, we will provide you with all of the information (verbally and written) and support to make an informed decision.

Before deciding to participate in a clinical trial, you should ask any questions that you wish to and carefully consider all the information provided to you.You may wish to discuss the information with your family, friends or GP.

If at any stage you change your mind about participating in a clinical trial, you can withdraw from a clinical trial without affecting your ongoing care or relationship with your oncologist or staff at Newcastle Private Hospital.

In most cases, taking part in a trial will not cost the participant more money than not taking part.

During a clinical trial:

  • you may experience some side effects from the trial treatment or procedures. If side effects occur, appropriate care will be provided to you
  • you may need to visit the hospital more frequently and/or stay in hospital longer for monitoring of your condition
  • no payments are made for participation in a clinical trial, other than reimbursement for travel and expenses if applicable

What is Happening at Newcastle Private Hospital Clinical Trial Unit

We have an active and exciting clinical trials unit at Newcastle Private Hospital (NPH) that has over 10 years’ experience conducting clinical trials in the private setting.

With the ongoing support of the NPH management and Healthscope executive teams, clinical trials are now seen as a standard part of the care provided for oncology patients at NPH.

The clinical trial unit is supported by a Chemotherapy Day Unit, Medical Centre, Oncology Ward, ancillary services (e.g. physiotherapy, pathology) as well as an onsite oncology pharmacy.

NPH clinical trial unit participates in local, national and international studies, conducting trials for a variety of cancer types including Brain, Colorectal (bowel), Lung, and Ovarian.

All clinical trials conducted at Newcastle Private Hospital have been reviewed and approved by an accredited Human Research Ethics Committee.

A list of current clinical trials being run at Newcastle Private Hospital can be found at: Clintrial refer (Oncology NSW)


Our Team at Newcastle Private Hospital (NPH)

The NPH clinical trial unit involves a dynamic team of dedicated staff, including oncology doctors, nurses, coordinators and pharmacists.  


There are eight (8) specialist Medical Oncologists that are actively involved in providing access to clinical trials for our patients.



Three (3) qualified clinical trial coordinators are responsible for delivering a patient-centered approach to care.  

The trial coordinators are the central point of contact for patients entering a clinical trial, and are responsible for coordinating the ongoing support and monitoring of a patient during their treatment and follow up.  

Ancillary The clinical trial unit has strong and supportive relationships with local surgical and radiation oncology specialties, as well as access to imaging and pathology services, providing complete care for our patients. 


NPH Clinical Trial Unit Achievements

The NPH Clinical Trials Unit is an active and established unit that has been recognised for the following achievements:

  • Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group Outstanding Clinical Trial Site Award 2023
  • Healthscope Ace Award – “We Care” category 2022
  • Affiliate member of the Hunter New England Local Health District, NSW Premiers Award for Outstanding Cancer Clinical Trials 2020
  • Healthscope STAR Award – “Service Excellence” category 2019

NPH Clinical Trial Unit - Connecting with others

NPH clinical trial unit is connected to local researchers, as we are a member of HMRIs Cancer Detection and Therapy Research Program, which aims to support trial units to ensure that the needs of our patient community is met by providing them with greater access to treatment options.

Our oncologists and trial coordinators are active members of a number of national Cancer Cooperative Trials Groups (CCTGs). These groups conduct world-class multidisciplinary research for cancer control: 

Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG)

The AGITG conducts clinical trials to find better ways to treat people with gastro-intestinal cancers. It is a multi-discipline collaborative group that aims to improve the medical treatment of people suffering from gastro-intestinal cancers such as cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and bowel.

Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG)

The ALTG is a multidisciplinary organisation dedicated to reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality of lung and other thoracic cancers and improve the quality of life of these patients, carers and families in Australia and New Zealand through the coordination and facilitation of high quality clinical research.

Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG)

ANZGOG conducts collaborative, multidisciplinary, clinical trials research into the causes, prevention and treatments of gynaecological cancers – ovarian, cervical, endometrial and vulval. The aim is to improve the outcomes and quality of life for women with gynaecological cancers.

Breast Cancer Trials (BCT)

Breast Cancer Trials is a group of world-leading breast cancer doctors and researchers based in Australia and New Zealand with a commitment to exploring and finding better treatments for people affected by breast cancer through clinical trials research. We are on a mission for people affected by breast cancer to live better, to live longer and to never die from breast cancer.

Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO)

COGNO aims to conduct investigator initiated and collaborative group trials addressing important clinical questions in patients with brain tumours. COGNO provides a coordinated, structured approach to the management of large-scale multi-centred neuro-oncology trials.

If you wish to participate in a clinical trial, please speak with your treating oncologist to see if there is a current trial that you may be suitable for.


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