Research - clinical trials for DCIS
Cancer research 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. These may be carried out to:
test new treatments, such as new chemotherapy drugs, gene therapy or cancer vaccines
look at new combinations of existing treatments, or change the way they are given, to make them more effective or reduce side effects
compare the effectiveness of drugs used to control symptoms
find out how cancer treatments work
see which treatments are the most cost-effective.
Trials are the only reliable way to find out if a different type of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or other treatment is better than what is already available.
Taking part in a trial
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You may be asked to take part in a treatment research trial. There can be many benefits in doing this. Trials help to improve knowledge about cancer and develop new treatments. You’ll be carefully monitored during and after the study.
Usually, several hospitals around the country take part in these trials. It’s important to bear in mind that some treatments that look promising at first are often later found not to be as good as existing treatments or to have side effects that outweigh the benefits.
If you decide not to take part in a trial, your decision will be respected and you don’t have to give a reason. However, it can help to let the staff know your concerns so that they can give you the best advice. There will be no change in the way that you’re treated by the hospital staff, and you’ll be offered the standard treatment for your situation.
We have more information about clinical trials.
There are usually different trials going on, and your specialist can tell you about suitable trials.
If you need to have radiotherapy following surgery, you may asked to take part in a trial that’s trying to find out how many sessions of radiotherapy is best. The trial is comparing 25 doses over 5 weeks with 16 doses over 3.5 weeks. The trial is also looking at whether there is any benefit in giving an extra ‘boost’ of radiotherapy to the area where the DCIS was in the breast.
Blood and tumour samples
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Blood and bone marrow or tumour samples may be taken to help make the right diagnosis. You may be asked for your permission to use some of your samples for research into cancer. If you are taking part in a trial, you may also be asked to give other samples that can be frozen and stored for future use, when new research techniques become available. These samples will have your name removed from them so you can’t be identified.
We have information about current research trials on our clinical trials database.