Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a medical research study involving people. Clinical trials research the benefits, risks and efficacy of new treatments. Trials look at many different issues; some seek the best treatment for a particular type of cancer, while others aim to improve quality of life during treatment.

Some examples of study areas:

  • Cancer Screening – usually screening people at higher than average risk, or for the general population
  • Risk Factors – how factors such as lifestyle and genetics influence the risk of developing cancer
  • Diagnosis – the development of new diagnostic procedures, test and scans
  • Developing New Treatments and New Drugs or combinations of drugs, such as new chemotherapy drugs
  • Developing ways to controlling Symptoms or Side Effects

Types of trials

There are different phases of clinical trials. Phase 1 trials investigate whether a trial treatment is safe or has any harmful effects. Phase 2 trials are used to investigate look at how well a treatment works. Phase 3 trials test a new treatment against the existing standard treatment.

There are also Phase 4 trials - these trials are carried out after a drug has been licensed - they collect information about side effects, safety and the long term risks and benefits of a drug.

For information on types of clinical trials on the Cancer Research UK website click here. CCLG have developed a booklet on trial, click here to access the link.