About clinical trials

Clinical trials are essential for the development of all new medical treatments, drugs and devices. These need to be vigorously tested to make sure they are safe and effective for treating medical conditions and diseases in humans.

Clinical trials are medical research studies involving people. The purpose of clinical trials includes looking for better treatments or better ways to prevent, screen or diagnose a disease such as cancer. If you are asked to take part in a clinical trial, you need to be given enough information to help you make up your mind as to whether or not to participate. Taking part in a clinical trial is completely voluntary.

Clinical trials aim to find out if a new treatment or procedure is safe and better than current standard treatment – your doctor may suggest a clinical trial as a means of getting you the best treatment available.

On this page you will find some useful information about clinical trials and a really useful section listing some questions that you might like to ask your doctor to help you decide whether or not to take part in a clinical trial.

If you need any further information or help, please do not hesitate to email us or ring our helpline.

Disclaimer: Our website provides general information only, and none of the information contained within our site shall be deemed to constitute medical advice in any way. You should seek appropriate medical advice or guidance from your doctor or health care team in relation to any medical condition.

Why are new treatments tested?

Testing of new treatments to make sure they are safe and they work in humans

What is a clinical trial?

What are clinical trials and research and what are they used for looking at?

Why do researchers run clinical trials?

What do researchers need to organise and run clinical trials

What are the phases of clinical trials?

A description of the different phases of clinical trials and what are they used for

What are observational studies?

What are observational studies used for

What are screening and prevention trials?

What are screening trials used for

Who runs clinical trials and where?

The research team and where the clinical trials take place

How do I decide to take part in a trial?

Advice from other patients on what to consider when taking part in a clinical trial

What is translational research?

A description of translational research and what it is used for

Questions for your doctor

A list of useful questions that you might like to ask your doctor

Further reading and clinical trial databases

A list of useful links for reading and databases