CTSU’s main objective is the treatment and prevention of the major causes of death and disability worldwide, and our trials have largely focussed on cancer (particularly breast cancer) and cardiovascular disease. CTSU is distinctive in that it coordinates some of the world’s largest trials (having pioneered the streamlined “mega-trial” approach), which are uniquely positioned to inform doctors and patients about the efficacy and safety of a wide range of interventions.
CTSU is currently conducting trials in cancer, vascular disease, chronic kidney disease and other chronic diseases.
In cardiovascular disease, we are studying drugs which work through lipid modification, and our completed trials include the HPS and SEARCH, trials of LDL cholesterol reduction with statin therapy and the THRIVE trial of niacin/laropiprant, which raises HDL cholesterol modestly. CTSU is currently coordinating the 30,000 patient REVEAL trial, which is assessing the CETP-inhibitor anacetrapib, a drug that raises HDL cholesterol to a much greater extent than niacin.
CTSU is also running the ASCEND trial to establish the effects of low-dose aspirin (and fish oil) on major vascular events among people with diabetes who do not have any prior history of vascular disease. ASCEND is also the only ongoing trial of aspirin that will reliably test the hypothesis that aspirin protects against the development of colorectal cancer, and other types of cancer, in people without known cancer.
In chronic kidney disease (CKD), CTSU previously coordinated the SHARP trial (involving over 9,400 patients in 400 hospitals and 18 countries) which demonstrated that lowering LDL cholesterol reduces the risk of atherosclerotic vascular disease in CKD. More recently, CTSU has conducted the 850 patient 3C trial in UK-based renal transplant patients (making it one of the largest ever trials in this setting), the initial results of which have shown that, as compared to standard basiliximab-based treatment, rejection rates are more than halved by combining alemtuzumab with less intensive (and hence toxic) doses of a calcineurin-inhibitor (view here).