Research - clinical trials for skin cancer
Cancer research trials are carried out to try to find new and better treatments for cancer. Trials that are carried out on patients are called clinical trials.
Clinical trials 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
find out 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
You may be asked to take part in a treatment research trial, and there can be many benefits in doing this. Trials help to improve knowledge about cancer and develop new treatments.
You will 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 to be less effective than 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 do not have to give a reason. There will be no change in the way you are treated by the hospital staff and you’ll be offered the standard treatment for your situation.