Taking part in clinical trials

If you are suitable for a clinical trial your clinician and research nurse will discuss this study with you.

They will tell you about the aims of the trial, what is involved and how it might differ from the current standard treatment.

If you are interested in finding out more, you will be given a detailed patient information sheet which will have all the details you need to make an informed decision about taking part.

We encourage all our patients to discuss this information with their family, friend or GP. You will be given as long as you need to decide if you wish to take part. 

If you decide to participate in the clinical trial, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form. You can ask to opt out of the trial at any time. This confirms that you agree to participate in the trial, and have done so of your own free will. Your doctor will also sign this consent form with you. You will also be given a copy of the information sheet and the signed consent form to keep for your own record.

It is important to remember that not every patient is eligible for a clinical trial. Once you consent to participate in a trial, we will begin the screening process to assess your eligibility. This screening process will involve the research team reviewing your medical notes and discussing all the trial criteria with you. You may need to have additional tests. Once we have all the results of this screening process, we will be able to determine if you are eligible for the trial and we can then enroll you into the trial.

Can I withdraw from a trial?

You can withdraw from a trial at any point and your medical care will not be affected. You do not have to give a reason. Once you make this decision, you can decide in conjunction with your medical team what the best course of treatment for your cancer will be.

What are the benefits of taking part in a trial?

  • You may be able to access new treatments which are only available on a clinical trial
  • You will be helping to improve the future treatment of cancer patients
  • You may have more frequent visits to The Christie which you may find reassuring

What are the possible disadvantages? 

  • You may have some side effects from new medications
  • You may need to make extra visits to the hospital

Confidentiality and clinical trials

At The Christie we treat your confidential information with great care. It is important you know that some members of the clinical trial team will need to view your medical records through different stages of your clinical trial journey.

When you consent to a clinical trial, you are allowing the clinical trial team to view your confidential medical records. Members of the research team will view your records to ensure that you are eligible to participate in the trial. We know that certain medications should not be given to patients who have some existing illnesses, so we will need to check your medical records to find out your complete medical history.

We will also inform your GP that you are participating in a clinical trial and that there may be some side effects. It is important that we make your GP aware so that he or she can look out for side effects, and not start you on any new medications without checking with the medical team.

Members of the medical team who are treating you will also know that you are involved in a clinical trial.

Your name will not be released outside the trust to any organisation that is running the clinical trial. Representatives from these organisations come into The Christie to review your data, but this is to ensure the hospital is running the clinical trial according to a protocol. Outside of The Christie you will be known only by a code number.

If you have a general enquiry about clinical trials at The Christie please email informationcentre@christie.nhs.uk


Last updated: August 2019