When you come to the Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) unit as a patient, you may hear about clinical trials. A clinical trial is when researchers and medical teams come together to find out better ways of treating and caring for specific groups of people and conditions.
Clinical trials aim to find out:
- if the new approach works,
- what the best way is to give it patients,
- what the side effects of the new treatment are, and
- if the new way is better than the old way.
What are the differences in clinical trials?
Some clinical trials may involve using new medications. Other trials may look at better ways of using existing medications. Some other trials may have no medication and instead look at how diseases can affect the body and mind. They do this by taking samples like blood or questionnaires from patients.
There are also different types of research projects being undertaken at The Christie. For example, we may ask for your permission to store some tissue that may have been taken from a biopsy, or to take blood samples to store – this is called a ‘biobank’.
Another type of research is looking at genomic sequencing to get better pictures of disease types using DNA. This usually involves giving some blood.
What should I think about if I’m considering a clinical trial at the TYA?
Being part of ongoing research may help lead us to further discoveries and better treatments for conditions. It may also give you access to benefit from new treatments not currently available on the NHS.
Trials have strict criteria so you may not be eligible for certain trials – this can be discussed with your clinical team.
It’s also important you’re aware that there may be risks and side effects with new treatments – this will all be discussed in detail with you by your doctor and research team.
If you are interested in clinical trials available, please discuss these with your oncologist.
Who works in clinical trials?
If you are approached to take part in a clinical trial, alongside your regular contacts at the hospital, you will meet a research nurse. They will specifically care for teenage and young adults who are participating in the trial.
Behind the scenes, there are also clinical trial co-ordinators. They help to run these trials and input the data that is collected. The research nurses will answer any questions you may have and will guide you through the trial process, no matter which trial you may be on.
Who can I contact about clinical trials at the TYA?
For further information on clinical trials at The Christie, please email Hanna Simpson at email@example.com