Clinical Trials

Clinical trials test new treatments or new ways of using existing treatments. This might include drugs, vaccines, surgery or radiation therapy.

Trials enable researchers to look at areas such as risks and causes, preventing cancer, screening, diagnosis, treatments, symptoms and side effects, support and information. It helps them gain a better understanding of how patients might respond to a particular treatment and whether the new approach is better than an existing one.

Trials offer patients the opportunity to be one of the first people to benefit from a new treatment however there is the risk the treatment may not be as effective as other standard treatments.

Clinical Trials

What to consider

There are strict criteria for who can enter a clinical trial and before joining a trial patients should take the time to consider what the research team expects from them, and factors such as time commitment, support, impact on quality of life and possible side effects from the trial.

Informed consent follows strict guidelines set by the NHS and the medicines and Healthcare products regulatory Agency (MHRA, ensuring that all participants are fully informed about trial according to UK law. All trials in the UK are strictly regulated and are approved by an ethics committee before they begin.

Trials take place at centres and hospitals across the UK you will need to consider travelling to receive the treatment. Tele medicine within the NHS can now allow for some flexibility in how clinical trials are conducted with some aspects taking place online.

It can sometimes help to talk to other people involved in a clinical trial about their experience. Connecting with patient advocacy groups relating to the specific condition can be helpful.

How to join a trial

The urologist, specialist nurse or healthcare team can provide information on clinical trials and which trials may be suitable.

Cancer Research UK provides information including a short video on clinical trials


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