ISRCTN statistics – trends in clinical trial registration

How many trials recruiting in the UK have been publicly registered in 2011? In which disease area is the highest number of registered trials? Which countries apart from the UK are represented in the ISRCTN Register? In answer to those frequently asked questions, the ISRCTN Register, made of over 10,800 records, has launched a page providing some insight on its content. The data is up to the end of June 2012 and the statistics will be updated at regular intervals.

The statistics include a breakdown of the disease areas represented in the ISRCTN Register – top areas include cancer, mental health and cardiovascular trials.

The top countries section illustrates the ISRCTN Register’s collaboration with the Department of Health. About 55% of the trials in the register are recruiting or have recruited participants in the UK, however it is open to studies in all designs, all areas of health care and all countries.

The UK trials that are listed in the register are also displayed in the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG) which was launched in 2011. Our UKCTG statistics show the proportion and evolution in the number of trials registered in the two sources used by the UKCTG: the ISRCTN Register and

It has to be noted that public trial registration is not legally mandated in most countries. As a result, the ISRCTN Register is not comprehensive and does not claim to give an exact picture of all clinical trials taking place in the UK or in any country represented. Increases or decreases in the number of trials registered do not necessarily imply that more or fewer trials take place in any specific year.

We are keen to hear how the ISRCTN data is used and whether other statistics could be of interest. Please give us your feedback.

Helene Faure



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