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Gulf War Illness Clinical Trials and Interventions Consortium (GWICTIC): A collaborative research infrastructure for intervention and implementation.

Cheema AK, McNeil RB, Craddock T, Broderick G, Abreu MM, Aenlle K, Helmer DA, Ashford JW, Sullivan K, Bested A, Cohen DE, Shungu D, Chandler H, Fletcher MA, Krengel M, Klimas N. Gulf War Illness Clinical Trials and Interventions Consortium (GWICTIC): A collaborative research infrastructure for intervention and implementation. Life sciences. 2021 Aug 1; 278:119636.

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AIMS: There is an inadequate portfolio of treatments for Gulf War Illness (GWI), a complex disease involving multiple organ systems, and early-phase clinical trials are hampered by many logistical problems. To address these challenges, the Gulf War Illness Clinical Trials and Interventions Consortium (GWICTIC) was formed with the aims of (i) creating a collaborative consortium of clinical and scientific researchers that will rapidly implement rigorous and innovative phase I and II clinical trials for GWI, (ii) perform at least four phase I or II clinical trials, (iii) provide a foundation of scalable infrastructure and management in support of the efficient and successful operation of the GWICTIC, and (iv) partner with the Boston Biorepository, Recruitment and Integrated Network for GWI and other GWI investigators to develop a common data element platform for core assessments and outcomes. MAIN METHODS: The GWICTIC brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers at several institutions to provide scientific innovation, statistical and computational rigor, and logistical efficiency in the development and implementation of early-phase low-risk clinical trials for GWI. The GWICTIC core trials adhere to a Veteran-centered philosophy and focus on interventions with multiple mechanistic targets to maximize the likelihood of efficacy. To support rapid and efficient study startup and implementation across the GWI research community, the GWICTIC will share infrastructure with investigator-initiated research studies funded under separate mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE: The GWICTIC will leverage the efficiencies of centralized research support and innovative trial designs to address several longstanding needs in the GWI interventions research community.

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