Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

On 29 April and 1 May 2015, thirty-eight surgical trainees from the Oxford and Severn Deaneries attended the first Bristol Oxford Surgical Trials Course (BOSTiC) - a joint initiative between the Oxford Surgical Intervention Trials Unit (SITU) at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and the Bristol Surgical Trials Centre (BSTC).

BOSTiC is supported by both the Severn and Oxford Deaneries, along with the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). BOSTiC is directed by Professor Jane Blazeby (BSTC) and Professor David Beard (SITU), with Professor Jonathan Cook (SITU) and Mr Angus McNair (BSTC) forming the rest of the core faculty.

The aim of BOSTiC was to provide surgical trainees with an overview of what it takes to deliver a successful surgical trial, from the formation of an idea through to delivery of the trial. No previous experience in surgical trials was necessary as BOSTiC covered all of the basics as well as highlighting specific topics such as the research question, design and outcome measurement and statistical analysis.

BOSTiC 2015

It was decided from the outset that BOSTiC should be delivered in a way that was as interactive as possible, giving everybody the chance to ask questions at any time during the teaching sessions The result was a fertile mix of debate/discussion on many aspects of surgical trials, often into new territory. It was widely agreed that this style of learning was the most appropriate and beneficial for the delegates  It also led to some interesting debates/differences of opinion amongst the faculty!

BOSTiC 2015

The presentations throughout the course were varied and stimulating. Highlights included Professor Andrew Carr speaking about the role that placebo can play in surgical trials, Dr Chris Rogers covering statistical issues, Professor Freddie Hamdy telling the story of the ProtecT trial, and Professor Matthew Costa presenting a trial to the group in a ‘reverse dragon’s den’ style. Attendees noted the ‘inspirational’ nature of some of the talks, and enjoyed their opportunity to present a trial that they had been working on in groups at the end of the course.

BOSTiC 2015

Whilst the course was intense by its very nature, participants overwhelmingly agreed that having a three day continuous course was the most productive way of running such an event. A course dinner on the first evening provided attendees with a great opportunity to get to know each other; with several commenting that it was rare for them to mix so much with those other specialties.

BOSTiC 2015 - 5

The feedback that we received for the BOSTiC course was very positive, and we hope that the trainees who took part are inspired to get involved in surgical trials in the future, and potentially become the next generation of surgical trialists. BOSTiC will run again in 2016, and will be held at the Bristol Surgical Trials Centre.

BOSTiC 2015 - 6

Similar stories

Cochrane ENT awarded NIHR funding for COVID-19 project

Awards and appointments Coronavirus COVID-19 Research

Cochrane ENT at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences has been awarded funding by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to complete a suite of living systematic reviews investigating the effectiveness and safety of interventions to prevent and treat loss of smell after COVID-19 infection.

First peer-reviewed results of phase 3 human trials of Oxford coronavirus vaccine demonstrate efficacy

Coronavirus COVID-19 Publication Research

Today University of Oxford and AstraZeneca researchers present a pooled analysis of Phase 3 trials of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 across two different dose regimens, resulting in an average efficacy of 70.4%.

Applications for Oxford-Wolfson-Marriott-Patel Scholarship now open

Awards and appointments Department Research

The Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) are pleased to confirm that one scholarship will be available for Home (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI) candidates for the DPhil in Surgical Sciences, starting in Michaelmas Term 2021.

Oxford University breakthrough on global COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus COVID-19 Research

The University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, today announces interim trial data from its Phase III trials that show its candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, is effective at preventing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and offers a high level of protection.

Transplant kidney survival rate improves with new method of transportation

Publication Research

New research by the Consortium for Organ Preservation in Europe (COPE) has found that a new method to transport donor kidneys, which uses a combination of cold perfusion with oxygen, can significantly improve transplant results, with less graft failure, better function and lower rejection of the kidney when compared to cold perfusion alone. For patients who need a kidney transplant this is a big step forward. The study, carried out in Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK, was published today in The Lancet.

Breast cancer study wins 2020 ONS Research Excellence Award

Awards and appointments Research

Dr Gurdeep Mannu from the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, has won the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Research Excellence Award for a study which highlighted early risk factors for breast cancer patients.