Cancer trials are carried out to try to find new and better treatments for cancer. Trials that are carried out on patients are known as clinical trials
Many drugs and treatments that have been tested in clinical trials are now in common use and without ongoing clinical trials it would not be possible to add to the current knowledge about effective treatments
Clinical trials of new treatment rarely stop when specialists agree that it works. There may be better ways of using it, such as giving it in different doses or combining it with other treatments.
Clinical trials are divided into different stages, called phases. The earliest phase trials look at whether a drug is safe or the side effects it causes. Later phase trials will aim to test whether a new treatment is better than existing treatments
There are 3 main phases of trials. Phases 1 to 3. Some trials will have an earlier stage 0 and there are some phase 4 trials undertaken after drug has been licensed.
Phase 0 trials aim to find out if a drug behaves in the way researchers expect it to from laboratory studies
Phase I trials are usually small and recruit only a few patients. The trial may be open to people with any type of cancer.
Phase II trials are for people who have the same type of cancer. They aim to find out if the treatment works well enough to test on a larger phase III trial. They also find out for which type of cancer the treatment works. Side effects are looked at, how to manage them and also the best dose.
Phase II trials are sometimes randomized. This means that people taking part are put into groups at random
Phase III trials compare new treatments with standard treatment. Standard treatments are those which are the best currently available. These trials involve more people and will be conducted in many hospitals and may be multi national. Most phase III trials are randomized.
Phase IV trials are done after a drug has been proven to work and has been granted a license. They aim to find out more about side effects and the safety of the drug. They show the long term effects and benefits of the drug and how well it works when used more widely.
Not all trials look at drugs. Some look at other treatments such as surgery and radiotherapy. Other look at lifestyle and the early intervention of support and the way in which people are cared for.
Clinical Trials List on NHS Choices Website
This list on the NHS Choices website is provided by World Health Organisation (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry
Mesothelioma UK has compiled a list of Mesothelioma Clinical Trials in the UK- you can access here. This information is updated for each newsletter (quarterly) and the information is as provided by the Trial Co-ordinator or Investigator for the trials. Please note that Mesothelioma UK undertakes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. If you are a trial coordinator or investigator and you would like to include details of a mesothelioma clinical trial please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click here to view information on current Mesothelioma clinical trials - Autumn 2016