The Rheumatology unit at St George’s is conducting a number of clinical trials, outlined below:

Clinical trials in osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. OA is a painful and disabling disease, predicted to be the fourth largest cause of disability worldwide by 2020. It commonly affects the hands, hips, spine or knee. Pain is one of the major symptoms of osteoarthritis and pain management is an important factor to consider in the treatment of this condition. Treatments for pain in osteoarthritis consist of local injections, anti-inflammatory gels or painkillers such as paracetamol. However, most people with osteoarthritis still have pain despite these treatments.

  • Pain Management in Osteoarthritis using Centrally Acting Analgesics (DUPRO)   JREO: 11.0126

Patients with hand osteoarthritis who are still having hand pain despite their usual painkillers will be randomly divided into 3 groups: one group will receive a placebo, the other 2 groups will receive one of two different drugs, duloxetine or pregabalin. Participants will be assessed using questionnaires and a brain scan (functional MRI) before and after 13 weeks of taking the capsules. This study will help us to understand the ways in which people feel pain in osteoarthritis. If our trial proves successful, drugs that dampen central pain pathways could be used in combination with local pain-relieving drugs to improve treatment and reduce disability in patients with hand osteoarthritis.

  • Understanding pain perception in osteoarthritis (PAPO) JREO: 12.0056

The study invites patients with OA of the knee to participate in detailed examinations of their pain and their painful joint through interviews, blood and urine samples taken, MRI magnetic resonance imaging)and donating their waste tissue after joint surgery (all of old joint). Informed patient consent will be sought in all cases. The blood and urine samples will also be taken to St. George’s, University of London, and prepared for studies on the genes and proteins in people with osteoarthritis.


Clinical studies in inflammatory arthritis

  • Oral microbiome and Periodontal Evaluation in Rheumatology Out-patients (OPERO)

We are interested in investigating whether there are particular species of microbes associated with particular rheumatic conditions. We are recruiting patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis. We will analyse the composition of microbes in samples taken from the mouth, in addition to blood tests and clinical examinations.

  •  TITRATE: Treatment Intensities and Targets in Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy

Led by King’s College London

  • UK GCA Consortium

Led by Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit

We are also involved in multi-centre clinical trials with Pharmaceutical companies involving new therapies for arthritis, including MSD and Roche.


If you are interested in learning more about our studies or would like to be involved, please contact the study team on 020 8266 6474, or email Dr Sofat on nsofat@sgul.ac.uk.