What do I need to know?

  • Some people with cancer may benefit from being part of a clinical trial.
  • Your specialist can tell you about clinical trials and if it is suitable for you to join a cancer clinical trial.
  • Your specialist can ask a clinical trials coordinator to talk to you and explain what is involved in joining a clinical trial.

What are cancer clinical trials? 

Clinical trials are research studies that look at existing treatments or processes and see if they can be improved. There are many different types of clinical trials. 

Cancer clinical trials look at improving treatment and other areas of cancer care, including:

  • diagnosis
  • treatment
  • quality of life
  • lifestyle
  • survivorship.

They increase our knowledge about cancer and help in the search for better cancer outcomes. They can test if a new treatment is better than existing treatments. 

Taking part in a clinical trial can be rewarding, knowing you are helping to develop better treatments for people who get cancer in the future.

Who do I see for information about clinical trials?

You should talk to your specialist about whether taking part in a clinical trial is suitable for you. Your specialist may refer you to a clinical trials coordinator.

Questions that may help include:

  • Are there benefits to taking part in a clinical trial?
  • Is there a clinical trial that would be suitable for me?
  • Are there any extra costs in being in a cancer clinical trial?

Further information about cancer clinical trials and searching for trials can be found at these websites:

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials help improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of people with cancer. 

What tests do I need?

There may be specific tests required when you start and throughout a clinical trial. The Clinical Trial Coordinator will let you know what tests are needed. Ask your trials coordinator about any extra costs for tests. 

What treatment will I have?

There are several types of trials. Your clinical trial coordinator will explain your trial and treatment to you. The clinical trial coordinator works closely with your specialist and nurses.

Where do I have treatment?

You may be able to have your treatment in the same place you saw the specialist. Sometimes you may have to have your treatment at a different centre. This depends on where clinical trials are available and what is most suited for you. 

How common are clinical trials in NSW?

Cancer clinical trials are conducted at many hospitals and cancer centres. Each centre may run numerous clinical trials. 

Cancer information and support

Speak to a specialist health professional about anything to do with cancer.

Phone 13 11 20.

Cancer Council NSW