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Many people have now had high-dose treatment with stem cell support. Those who have this treatment often help doctors and researchers understand more about the process. However, more research is needed to improve the techniques.
Research trials are carried out to try to find new and better ways of carrying out transplants. Trials that are carried out on patients are known as clinical trials. Areas of research in transplants include looking at the best forms of preparatory treatment and new techniques for speeding up bone marrow recovery time.
Trials are the only reliable way to find out if a different type of treatment is better than what’s already available.
You may be asked to take part in a treatment research trial, and there can be many benefits in doing this. It’s important to bear in mind that some treatments that look promising at first are often later found to be less effective than existing treatments or to have side effects that outweigh the benefits.
Many transplant studies involve hospitals across the UK and other countries. You will be carefully monitored during and after the study. If you decide not to take part in a trial, your decision will be respected and you do not have to give a reason. There will be no change in the way you’re treated by the hospital staff, and you’ll be offered the standard treatment for your situation.
Our section on cancer research trials| explains clinical trials in more detail.
Content last reviewed: 1 December 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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