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BMJ Open ; 12(4): e047309, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794503


OBJECTIVE: Annotated clinical samples taken from patients are a foundation of translational medical research and give mechanistic insight into drug trials. Prior research by the Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (TDCC) indicated that researchers, particularly those in industry, face many barriers in accessing patient samples. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic to the UK produced an immediate and extreme shockwave, which impacted on the ability to undertake all crucial translational research. As a national coordination centre, the TDCC is tasked with improving efficiency in the biobanking sector. Thus, we took responsibility to identify and coordinate UK tissue sample collection organisations (biobanks) able to collect COVID-19-related samples for researchers between March and September 2020. FINDINGS: Almost a third of UK biobanks were closed during the first wave of the UK COVID-19 pandemic. Of the remainder, 43% had limited capabilities while 26% maintained normal activity. Of the nationally prioritised COVID-19 interventional studies, just three of the five that responded to questioning were collecting human samples. Of the 41 requests for COVID-19 samples received by the TDCC, only four could be fulfilled due to a lack of UK coordinated strategy. Meanwhile, in the background there are numerous reports that sample collections in the UK remain largely underutilised. CONCLUSION: The response to a pandemic demands high level co-ordinated research responses to reduce mortality. Our study highlights the lack of efficiency and coordination between human sample collections and clinical trials across the UK. UK sample access is not working for researchers, clinicians or patients. A radical change is required in the strategy for sample collection and distribution to maximise this valuable resource of human-donated samples.

COVID-19 , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e055864, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731277


INTRODUCTION: Liver transplantation is a complex operation that can provide significant improvements in quality of life and survival to the recipients. However, serious complications are common and include major haemorrhage, hypotension and renal failure. Blood transfusion and the development of acute kidney injury lead to both short-term and long-term poor patient outcomes, including an increased risk of death, graft failure, length of stay and reduced quality of life. Octreotide may reduce the incidence of renal dysfunction, perioperative haemorrhage and enhance intraoperative blood pressure. However, octreotide does have risks, including resistant bradycardia, hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia and QT prolongation. Hence, a randomised controlled trial of octreotide during liver transplantation is needed to determine the cost-efficacy and safety of its use; this study represents a feasibility study prior to this trial. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We describe a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled feasibility study of continuous infusion of octreotide during liver transplantation surgery. We will recruit 30 adult patients at two liver transplant centres. A blinded infusion during surgery will be administered in a 2:1 ratio of octreotide:placebo. The primary outcomes will determine the feasibility of this study design. These include the recruitment ratio, correct administration of blinded study intervention, adverse event rates, patient and clinician enrolment refusal and completion of data collection. Secondary outcome measures of efficacy and safety will help shape future trials by assessing potential primary outcome measures and monitoring safety end points. No formal statistical tests are planned. This manuscript represents study protocol number 1.3, dated 2 June 2021. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has received Research Ethics Committee approval. The main study outcomes will be submitted to an open-access journal. TRIAL SPONSOR: The Joint Research Office, University College London, UK.Neither the sponsor nor the funder have any role in study design, collection, management, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the study report or the decision to submit the report for publication. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study is registered with (NCT04941911) with recruitment due to start in August 2021 with anticipated completion in July 2022. CLINICAL TRIALS UNIT: Surgical and Interventional Group, Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, University College London.

COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Adult , Double-Blind Method , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Octreotide/therapeutic use , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 5(8): 765-775, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-692971


Around the world, recommendations for cancer treatment are being adapted in real time in response to the pandemic of COVID-19. We, as a multidisciplinary team, reviewed the standard management options, according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer classification system, for hepatocellular carcinoma. We propose treatment recommendations related to COVID-19 for the different stages of hepatocellular carcinoma (ie, 0, A, B, and C), specifically in relation to surgery, locoregional therapies, and systemic therapy. We suggest potential strategies to modify risk during the pandemic and aid multidisciplinary treatment decision making. We also review the multidisciplinary management of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma as a potentially curable and incurable diagnosis in the setting of COVID-19.

Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Liver Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Bile Duct Neoplasms/therapy , COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/pathology , Cholangiocarcinoma/therapy , Clinical Decision-Making , Humans , Liver Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasm Staging , Patient Care Team , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2