Tuesday, 29 May 2018

TRANSFUSE study is Trial of the Year Finalist

(L-R):Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP,
Prof Jamie Cooper, Dr Zoe McQuilten

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance announced their 2018 finalists and winners at an award ceremony on May 16th, and the TRANSFUSE trial, coordinated by the ANZIC-RC at our School, was a finalist for Trial of the Year.  Health Minister Greg Hunt MP presented the award at an event coinciding with International Clinical Trials Day.

The award acknowledges an investigator-driven trial for which the primary results were published in 2017, that addressed a critical gap in the evidence, demonstrated exceptional scientific rigour, and is expected to translate into a significant change in policy or practice. Professor Jamie Cooper and Dr Zoe McQuilten accepted the award on behalf of the TRANSFUSE Management Committee.

The TRANSFUSE Trial was an international, multi-centre, randomized, double-blind trial which investigated the age of red blood cells for transfusion and outcomes in critically ill adults. The primary paper, published in NEJM, demonstrated that blood transfusions using blood stored for up to the standard maximum of 42 days is just as beneficial or better for patient outcomes as using “fresher” blood stored for shorter period. 

“Older blood appears to be like a good red wine – better with some age,” lead researcher Professor Jamie Cooper said. “We found that in the sickest subgroup of intensive care patients that their outcomes were better with the older blood rather than the fresher.” 

Award winners and finalists, Prof Jamie Cooper rear left,
 Dr Zoe McQuilten sitting in front of him
Hospitals receive blood supplies from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. It’s allocated to patients using the oldest blood in each compatible group first. Some doctors were asking for the freshest possible blood for their patients because they believed it was better. The TRANSFUSE trial will likely result in improvements in the availability of blood by reducing wastage.

Minister Hunt used the ceremony to launch the Helping Our Health campaign to encourage more Australians to participate in ground-breaking clinical trials, opening up access to life-saving new medicines and treatments. The campaign will be led by four-time AFL premiership player and Hawthorn Football Club Captain, Jarryd Roughead.