Taking part in a clinical trial

If there is a suitable trial, your clinical team will invite you to take part. At this point, we will provide you with all the information you need to help you decide whether taking part in the trial is the right choice for you. Some patients may take part in more than one trial in the course of their treatment.
If you decide to sign up for the trial, we will always ensure that the highest possible standards are followed. All trials are carefully monitored to ensure that they are safe and ethical. Any information collected about you, or your experience during the trial, will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous.
Why take part in a trial?
From a patient perspective, the decision to take part in a trial is often a complex one. For many people, there won’t be a single motivation for taking part in a trial.
Clinical trials are essential to improve the treatment of and outcome for cancer patients. We need trials to ensure that we can both discover new, better treatments and improve the care of cancer patients across the NHS. Taking part in a trial enables you to benefit from innovative treatments and methods.

In deciding to take part in a trial, people may:
  • hope to benefit from a new treatment
  • want to help improve cancer care for others
  • believe that they will be more closely cared for if they are part of a trial
  • be looking for alternatives where previous treatments have been less successful
It is often a combination of these and other reasons which will influence the choice to take part.
However, there are some important issues to bear in mind as well. We won’t always know as much about potential side effects as we do with standard treatments, for instance. And from a practical point of view, some trials mean more time spent in hospital or travelling to and fro for additional tests or treatments. Before you decide whether to take part in any trial, we will always make sure that you understand all the implications, including any disadvantages. It is important to us that you make the right decision for you.
If you decide not to sign up, or if you withdraw during a trial, it will not affect the standard of care you receive. In this case we will provide the most effective existing treatment and will continue to care for and support you to the highest possible standard.
Clinical investigation ward
Patients taking part in trials may be cared for on the Clinical investigation ward at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This ward is a joint venture between Addenbrooke's and the University of Cambridge. It enables us to link patient care with our purpose built research facilities.

The ward is open for day case treatments, from Monday to Friday 07:30 to 18:00. There are 3 beds for oncology and haematology patients.

On the ward, patients are cared for by highly qualified people with a range of experience and skills, in both looking after cancer patients and conducting clinical research. The ward has been specially set up so that patients receive their treatment safely and efficiently, have all the information they need about their trial, and are monitored closely during their treatment.