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Research into new ways of treating advanced cancer and controlling cancer symptoms is going on all the time.
Current treatments can be helpful for many people with advanced cancer, but cancer doctors are continually looking for better ways of treating cancer and controlling its symptoms. One of the ways doctors do this is through cancer research trials, often called clinical trials|. Trials help to improve knowledge about cancer and develop new treatments. Any new drug that’s developed will go through trials to check that it’s safe and effective.
You may be invited to take part in a clinical trial and there can be many benefits in doing this.
If you decide to take part you will be carefully monitored during and after the study. 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. They may also have side effects that outweigh the benefits.
If you decide not to take part in a trial, your decision will be respected and you won’t 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.
Content last reviewed: 1 September 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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