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Respiratory Current Research

With over 15 years of commercial and non-commercial research, the Respiratory Research team led by Professor Maskell is one of the largest and most successful clinical and academic pleural research teams in the UK.

For nearly a decade they have been designing and delivering practice-changing clinic trials, improving the lives of patients with mesothelioma, pleural infection, and pneumothorax.

They have tested new devices designed to manage recurrent pleural effusions and pneumothorax, including a first in human trial which led to an international multi-centre randomised controlled trial (SEAL-MPE trial).

The multidisciplinary team includes highly skilled and motivated research nurses, managers, clinical research fellows and clinical academics. The team has also successfully been awarded research grants of more than £5million.

Please speak to the person treating you to find out if there is a research study that may be able to help you.

Current Studies:

UK Lung Volume Reduction: Multi-centre Observational Study

Many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remain very breathless and limited. In some patients, with the appropriate pattern of emphysema, an operation called lung volume reduction surgery is effective at removing the worst affected area of lung. New techniques have been developed where emphysema can be treated using a fibre-optic camera called a bronchoscope. Trials have shown that using a bronchoscope to place endobronchial valves into the airways can be very effective in carefully selected patients and the technique is now being adopted in hospitals across the UK.

This study will collect data from people undergoing these procedures at hospitals across the UK to evaluate how well they work in practice and what factors at baseline influence response. Baseline, three month and 12 month follow up data will be collected. This will include lung function data, measures of exercise capacity, questionnaires about health status and CT scan results. Questions addressed will include:

  • What lung function improvement is seen in clinical practice?
  • What factors determine who is most likely to respond?
  • How safe are the procedures and what is the rate of complications?
  • What proportion of people undergoing bronchoscopic procedures require repeat procedures or surgery subsequently?
  • Does long term survival differ between people undergoing the different treatments?

The study is supported by The British Lung Foundation and sponsored by Imperial College, London. By building collaboration, the establishment of the network will also produce a structure that will make evaluation of future bronchoscopic techniques easier bringing innovative treatments into play more quickly.

Project Details

Principal Investigator: Dr James Dodd
Planned End Date: 30/06/2026
Local Ref: 4076

Pleural Antibiotic Concentrations Informing Treatment (PACT) Study

When people get chest infections, fluid can sometimes build up around the lung. This is called a parapneumonic pleural effusion. In about 1 in 10 cases, the fluid itself becomes infected, this is called pleural infection. Pleural infection is usually treated by removing the infected fluid and using antibiotics to mop up the left-over infection.

Patients with pleural infection often receive long courses of intravenous antibiotics because doctors are uncertain of how well antibiotics reach the infected pleural fluid and whether bacteria are becoming resistant to them.

The Pleural Antibiotic Concentrations informing Treatment (PACT) study is observational and aims to see how well antibiotics are reaching the infected fluid, and how quickly the bacteria are being killed. To answer this, we will collect samples of pleural fluid from participants who are being treated for pleural infection with pleural drainage. This fluid will be tested to measure how much antibiotic has managed to get into it. We can then tell if the antibiotics are reaching high enough concentrations to kill bacteria. We will also be testing this fluid to see if the bacteria are being killed by the antibiotic or not. In the future, this information may shorten the time patients are treated with intravenous antibiotics and therefore how long they need to stay in hospital.

Project Details
Principal Investigator: TBC
Planned End Date: TBC
Local Ref: 4581

NOTUS

The purpose of the study is to evaluate how effective dupilumab is and how safe it is in reducing the signs and symptoms in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) who have a high level of blood eosinophils and are in need of additional treatment.

COPD is a highly prevalent disease, associated with significant economic burden, and for which available standard-of-care therapies show insufficient treatment effect on symptoms, lung function, exacerbations and long-term progression of the disease.

Although the inflammatory component in COPD is typically thought to be neutrophils, a subgroup of COPD patients have been identified who have a high level of blood eosinophils therefore suggesting a Type 2 inflammatory component of the disease.

The study is a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study and is planned to include approximately 924 participants. Each participant will be involved in the study for approximately 68 weeks and will attend approximately 19 visits to the research site. All participants will receive standard of care background medication throughout the study. Most participants will be expected to administer study drug at home between study visits.

Project Details
Principal Investigator: TBC
Planned End Date: TBC
Local Ref: 4823

The effectiveness and risks of Treating people with Idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis with the Addition of Lansoprazole (TIPAL)

IPF is a progressive scarring lung condition causing coughing and breathlessness. IPF patients often have reflux disease meaning stomach acid may be breathed into the lungs, potentially damaging them. Medicines which stop stomach acid production, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can be used to reduce reflux symptoms including heartburn. Some researchers suggest PPIs also reduce IPF progression.

This research aims to see if IPF progresses slower if treated with PPIs. Based on the results, we will be able to recommend whether or not IPF patients should take PPIs.

This trial will involve 298 IPF patients from approximately 37 UK hospitals. At the beginning of the study, we will ask patients to perform breathing tests, and ask those with a cough to use a device to count the number of times they cough in 24hours. We will ask them to answer two questions rating their coughing and breathlessness, and complete questionnaires on their coughing, IPF, sleep habits and general condition. People will be given a PPI, called lansoprazole, or dummy tablets, twice per day for 12 months. They will be given a leaflet telling them what to do about reflux symptoms. At the end of the study, we will repeat these tests and analyse the results. We will record any side effects people may get. If people suffer side effects, they can reduce the dose.

People taking medicines that interact with PPIs or have other serious medical conditions won’t be able to participate. People receiving PPIs will only be able to participate if they can stop taking their medication without their heartburn returning.

The study will be undertaken by doctors and researchers with experience of IPF, reflux disease, PPIs and coughing. We will publicise our results by writing reports for medical publications, media articles and social media.

Project Details
Principal Investigator: TBC
Planned End Date: TBC
Local Ref: 4672

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About Research & Innovation

NBT Researcher

Find out more about our research and how we're working to improve patient care.

Contact Research & Innovation

Research & Innovation
North Bristol NHS Trust
Floor 3, Learning & Research Centre
Southmead Hospital
Westbury-on-Trym
Bristol, BS10 5NB

Telephone: 0117 4149330
Email: research@nbt.nhs.uk