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Clinical Trials Showcase winners

Showcase highlights clinical trials, treatments and cures

Two winners pose for a photo with their clinical trial awards.
SydneyConnect Image: Clinical Trials Showcase winners Associate Professor Lauren Troy and Senior Pharmacist Romana Cecchele

An RPA respiratory staff specialist has been awarded Sydney Local Health District's Clinical Trial of the Year for a world-first investigation into a new technique for performing lung biopsies.

And, a RPA senior pharmacist won the Excellence in Clinical Trial Support Award.

The awards were announced at the Clinical Trials Showcase held as part of Innovation Week 2022.

Associate Professor Lauren Troy won the Clinical Trial of the Year Award for her study about the use of cryobiopsy in diagnosing interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Cryobiopsy allows for tissue samples to be collected from the lungs by inserting a probe into the lungs and close to the chest wall. The probe is then cooled, causing tissue to stick to it.

Associate Professor Troy's COLDICE (Cryobiopsy versus Open Lung biopsy in the Diagnosis of Interstitial lung disease allianCE) study showed that cryobiopsy leads to accurate diagnoses and that it has many potential benefits to patients.

Her work demonstrated that, compared with a surgical biopsy, the technique avoids the need for chest wall incision and therefore scarring and pain.

She also showed that recovery is quick, with many patients able to go home the same day, and that the technique is a good alternative for patients for whom surgery is not suitable.

The results of the study, which was published in 2019, have been cited in over 150 publications and have influenced clinical practice around the world.

Meanwhile, Romana Cecchele, a Senior Pharmacist at RPA's Investigational Drugs Unit, won the Excellence in Clinical Trial Support Award.

Ms Cecchele has led the Unit, which facilitates trials across the RPA campus, for more than eight years.

She and her team have been recognised for managing a growing workload, prioritising ongoing staff education, and for offering their expertise to external sites and stakeholders.

Ms Cecchele was described by the Director of Pharmacy at RPA, Russell Levy as "arguably one of the most experienced and competent clinical trials pharmacists in the nation".

"I am very proud of the work Romana and her team accomplish. They really are an exceptional asset to the Sydney Local Health District," he said.

The awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions from researchers and research support staff in the District.