Our well established Clinical Trials Unit here at Velindre Cancer Centre has been running since 1994. Working with Cancer Clinicians, we participate in over 200 national and international clinical trials, and have specialist research teams to cover most cancer sites.
Research is essential if cancer treatments are to be developed, and healthcare is to be improved. Clinical Trials are one of the last stages of meticulous and careful research and is a scientifically controlled process for assessing potential new treatments. Clinical Trials are vital to prove beyond doubt the effectiveness of new treatments.
New cancer treatments are first tested in the laboratory and if it seems they may help to treat a particular cancer, they are tested in a clinical trial setting. Many trials compare new treatments against current standard treatments. Each clinical trial has a set eligibility criteria to ensure scientific validity and patient safety. This means that not all patients are eligible for trials. However, if a patient is thought to be eligible, they will be offered trial information including what the trial aims to achieve, what treatments etc are to be used and how, what procedures will be included, and how often they will be expected to attend the hospital. Patients will also have numerous opportunities to ask questions, and if they are happy to take part, they will then sign consent. Patients have no obligation to participate in trials and can be assured that their decision will not affect the standard of care they receive
If a patient does decide to take part in a clinical trial and signs consent, they will be monitored very closely. This can be done in numerous ways, including regular check ups at the hospital where they will be seen by their doctor and / or research nurse, blood tests and scans. It is also important to mention that before the hospital agrees to run a clinical trial, it is fully assessed by a UK ethics panel that determines the safety and that the research questions the trial seeks to answer is ethical.
The aim of the Clinical Trials Unit is to: