Clinical Research

Prof Vincent Piguet, Gladys Makuta, Dr John Ingram

The Cardiff Dermatology Department is at the forefront of translational research which moves from inflammatory pathways to clinical trials that benefit patients in South Wales and internationally. The department’s clinical trial team is lead by Professor Vincent Piguet and is supported by Gladys Makuta, dermatology research nurse. Dr John Ingram, a senior lecturer and consultant, is NISCHR CRC lead for dermatology clinical trials across Wales and R&D lead for dermatology in Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

The department hosts a portfolio of investigator-initiated and commercial clinical trials. It is currently recruiting into international commercial trials testing novel small molecules and monoclonal antibody therapies for psoriasis and eczema. Recently it was involved in UK academic portfolio RCTs to improve the evidence base to treat rarer skin diseases such as pyoderma gangrenosum (STOP GAP trial) and Cardiff is a recruiting site for hELP, investigating treatments for erosive lichen planus.

The department also recruits into safety registries such as the ongoing UK BADBIR psoriasis study of biologics and systemic therapies, in order to improve patient care. Dr Ingram is developing clinical research studies to investigate hidradenitis suppurativa, a neglected chronic skin condition involving recurrent painful boils in skin fold sites such as the armpit and groin.

The department has developed strong links with partner organisations in order to deliver high quality clinical trials. The South East Wales Trials Unit (SEWTU) is supporting INDUCE, “Point-of-care tests to assist antibiotic prescribing decisions for diabetic foot ulcer infections”, a pilot study lead by Dr Ingram and funded by the NISCHR Research for Patient and Public Benefit scheme. NISCHR also provides nursing support for several of the department’s other ongoing trials.

Many of the inflammatory dermatoses, such as psoriasis, eczema and hidradenitis suppurativa, offer excellent potential for collaboration with other research groups within the Institute of Infection & Immunity. Dermatology also collaborates with other Cardiff University research institutes, including the Institute of Primary Care & Public Health for the CREAM study, a HTA-funded RCT investigating infected eczema in children.

The department’s strength in clinical trials research is complemented by further research streams in outcome measures and systematic reviews. The Cardiff Dermatology Life Quality Index continues to be the most widely used quality of life outcome measure in dermatology. The department is also building an expertise in systematic reviews, including Cochrane reviews, to permit synthesis of RCT evidence to inform clinical decision making and improve patient care.