Chronic stroke remains a major health challenge in Australia and worldwide

It’s Australia's second largest cause of death, with one person suffering from the disease every 10 minutes.

An experimental treatment in the US is giving some stroke patients immediate relief from the crippling disease. Griffith University is planning a clinical trial to examine this potential treatment.


The US Federal Drug Administration has approved Etanercept (Enbrel) for many years as a therapy to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Recently, doctors have begun using the drug to treat strokes. A clinical trial is currently being planned at Griffith University that will investigate the effectiveness of Enbrel treatment in stroke patients, with the aim of gaining national approval.

Trial updates

March 2019

Please note the stroke trial is now closed for enrolment. The trial will continue throughout 2019 with outcomes expected to be released in approximately 12 months.

November 2017

Please note that we are starting the trial in December 2017 with the first patients, with further patients to be enrolled in the New Year.

There are very specific inclusion criteria to be involved in this trial, please contact us if you fit the following three points for possible inclusion:

  • aged between 30-80 years old
  • the stroke that occurred must be at least 6 months and not more than 15 years prior to screening for this study
  • chronic neurological impairment, including left hemiparesis, following an ischemic stroke in the territory of the right middle cerebral artery (rMCA) (may include rMCA clot or embolus or right carotid occlusion causing rMCA territory stroke) or right basal ganglia form of intracerebral haemorrhage.

January 2017

We have been busy undergoing extensive preparations required to run a trial of this scale. Most of last year (2016) involved critical assessment of our clinical trial protocol, which was extensively reviewed by the Australian Stroke Trials Network. The team provided us with valuable suggestions and instructed us to overhaul and revise our study protocol to streamline and improve it. Although this has caused considerable delays, it will be highly beneficial for the outcomes of the study. These revisions have now been carried out and ethical approvals have been re-obtained.

We have also been actively engaged in finalising the trial funding arrangements with the Stroke Trial Recovery Fund, who will be helping support the trial.

The specialised equipment required for the trial has now arrived and we are currently recruiting more local neurologists from regional Gold Coast hospitals to participate as clinical investigators. Once we have finalised the appointment of neurologists and held the induction training for the clinical team, the trial is expected to begin. A further update will be provided at that time. We thank everyone for their continued patience.

Chronic Stroke Treatment

Ethical and regulatory approvals have been granted, and the clinical trial will initially be carried out with a small group of 20 patients. The number of participants needed may increase as the trial progresses.

Contact us

Expressions of interest are welcome.

Location and postal address

Griffith University Stroke Trial

School of Medical Science

Griffith University

Parklands Drive

Southport, Qld 4222

Find out more

Contact the Stroke Trial Group