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East Lancashire team leads the way on fertility study

East Lancashire team leads the way on fertility study

The Women and Children's Health Research Team at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) has recruited the first patients to a study looking at treatment for a common condition which affects women’s chances of becoming pregnant.

The team, who are based in CRN Greater Manchester, randomised the participants on to the LOCI trial. The trial is investigating treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition thought to affect 20 per cent of women and can result in eggs not being released from the ovaries.

LOCI is a large UK-based trial comparing the effectiveness of the standard PCOS treatment medicine, clomifene, with another medicine, called letrozole, with or without metformin for ovulation induction in women with PCOS and infertility. 

The team at ELHT worked efficiently to set up and safely recruit to the trial following the resumption of non-COVID-19 studies. They are led by Principal Investigator, Mrs Shankaralingaiah Nethra, an obstetrics and gynaecology consultant.

Lee Priest, Senior Trial Manager at the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit which coordinates the trial, said: “Mrs Shankaralingaiah Nethra and the entire care team, pharmacy and R&D department at East Lancashire continue to lead the way in supporting research and tomorrow’s treatment.

“East Lancashire were one of the first sites to open and the first site to recruit. I’ve worked with the trust for many years and it is always a pleasure.”

Shankaralingaiah Nethra, ELHT Principal Investigator, said: “Our fertility and research team takes pride in supporting research work and is now part of LOCI trial to find reasonable, effective and safe treatment to help women with polycystic ovarian syndrome achieve a pregnancy.  

“We really appreciate the active contribution of women from East Lancashire who agree to be part of this important trial to evaluate new treatment options.”

Bev Hammond, ELHT Team Leader for Reproductive Health, said: “We were conscious of the importance of assessing restart following the first wave of COVID-19 and this study was highlighted as a priority to move forward as clinical services began to resume.

“The team have worked carefully to ensure safe set up and delivery and are really proud to have been able to offer this study to women. A huge thank you to research midwife Frances Pickering for co-ordinating and supporting the women through their study journey.”