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Publishing - resized

Last month not one but four papers from researchers in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences (MDS) were published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, which provides unparalleled global reach and impact on health.

Selection by the top-tier journal shows that these studies have been recognised as both high quality and impactful. The achievement demonstrates that College researchers are delivering on the University of Birmingham’s strategic goal to conduct research that matters.

The first paper by Professor Hodgetts Morton and team, published on 20 October 2022, details the results of a study to determine which type of suture thread would be safest to use in surgery to prevent pre-term birth. The study found that a single-stranded wire reduced the risk of infection in cervical cerclage, a procedure carried out to minimise pregnancy loss.

The following week, two papers were published on safer surgery from the NIHR Global Research Health Unit on Global Surgery. Both have the potential to improve practice around the world, particularly in low to middle income countries. The first looked at the benefits of changing gloves and instruments before wound closure and the other considered how to ensure elective surgeries can continue in the face of disruption, such as the recent pandemic.

The results of a Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit study looking at the most appropriate treatment for Ewing sarcoma, a soft tissue cancer most common in childhood, were published at the end of October 2022. The trial has led to a change in practice in Europe as the results showed that the treatment route previously favoured in the US was most effective

Further details of all four papers

  • Hodgetts Morton V, Toozs-Hobson P, Moakes CA, Middleton L, Daniels J, Simpson NAB et al. (2022) Monofilament suture versus braided suture thread to improve pregnancy outcomes after vaginal cervical cerclage (C-SITCH): a pragmatic randomised, controlled, phase 3, superiority trial. The Lancet 400 (10361), 1426-1436. doi:
  • Brennan B, Kirton L, Marec-Berard P, Gaspar N, Laurence V, Martin-Broto J et al. (2022) Comparison of two chemotherapy regimens in patients with newly diagnosed Ewing sarcoma (EE2012): an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial. The Lancet 40 (10362) 1513-1521 doi:
  • NIHR Global Research Health Unit on Global Surgery (2022) Routine sterile glove and instrument change at the time of abdominal wound closure to prevent surgical site infection (cheetah): a pragmatic, cluster-randomised trial in seven low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet, online first doi:
  • NIHR Global Research Health Unit on Global Surgery (2022) Elective surgery system strengthening: development, measurement, and validation of the surgical preparedness index across 1632 hospitals in 119 countries. The Lancet, online first doi: