A case study of a single ethics committee for multicentre trials

Ian N Olver, Sharon J P Falleiro, Marion L Marson and James F Bishop
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.10484
Published online: 21 November 2011

To the Editor: In 2006, the Cancer Institute NSW established a single ethics committee, in order to improve the efficiency of ethics reviews for multicentre cancer clinical trials. This predates the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Harmonisation of Multi-centre Ethical Review (HoMER) but exemplifies what HoMER aims to encourage nationally. Previously, such trials were submitted to each institution’s ethics committee, resulting in replication of effort and cost and prolonged review times, potentially making sites uncompetitive in attracting clinical trials.1 Under the Cancer Institute’s model, with the agreement of individual institutions, multicentre projects are submitted directly to a single ethics committee. Governance issues, such as the capability of an institution to provide appropriate support, and insurance issues have remained local health unit responsibilities.2

  • Ian N Olver1
  • Sharon J P Falleiro2
  • Marion L Marson2
  • James F Bishop2

  • 1 Cancer Council Australia, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Cancer Institute NSW, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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