13 December 2019
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A new Phase III trial led by The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) will investigate shifting the treatment time for stroke to 24 hours.

The trial is set to benefit people around Australia and internationally with the potential to change clinical guidelines.

The trial called ETERNAL will investigate if a next generation drug, tenecteplase, is more effective than the current standard of care at improving patient outcomes up to 24 hours of stroke onset.

This trial is particularly important because it will extend the stroke treatment time window with thrombolysis from 4.5 hours to 24 hours, allowing more patients to be treated.

The project was recently award more than $2.7 million dollars in the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) grants.

Director of Neurology at the RMH and principal investigator, Professor Mark Parsons said opening the time window will have huge benefits for patients in regional areas.

“This research will help those receive treatment who are outside the established window, particularly patients in remote areas and people who wake up with stroke symptoms,” Prof Parsons said.

This research is important to an ongoing project led by the RMH and University of Melbourne, getting stroke care in the air. The RMH have partnered with more than 30 leading health and academic institutes and charities to form the Australian Stroke Alliance, which is aimed at developing light weight portable brain imaging tools for air and road ambulances.

Reducing the time to treatment will be crucial for air ambulances accessing patients in regional areas.

Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre at the RMH, Professor Stephen Davis said the project will target the first hour after stroke onset, known as the ‘golden hour’ to give patients the best chance of survival.

“Your postcode should not determine your access to world class stroke treatment,” Prof Davis said.

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