ECMC clinical trials

Find out about Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) trials.

What does ECMC mean?
What is an ECMC trial?
Further information
How you can take part in a trial

What does ECMC mean?

ECMC stands for Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. 20 centres in the UK have ECMC status. They are specialist centres doing lots of research into new cancer treatments. There are both adult and children's cancer centres in the network.

The aim is to bring together cancer doctors, research nurses and lab scientists to make clinical trials of new treatments quicker and easier.

The ECMC initiative is funded by Cancer Research UK and the Departments of Health of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The centres use the money to run trials of new and experimental treatments.

They also analyse thousands of blood and tissue samples (biopsies) to help find out more about how treatments work and what happens to cancer cells.

There is more information about the network and the sort of research the centres are doing on the ECMC website.

Visit the ECMC website

What is an ECMC trial?

An ECMC trial is an early phase trial running at one of the 20 centres using money provided by the ECMC funders. They are mostly small phase 1 trials and phase 2 trials looking at new treatments.

Read more about trial phases

Further information

We are working closely with the centres to provide information about ECMC trials on our clinical trials database.

There are two ways to search on our clinical trials database.

The first is the quick search where you simply pick the cancer type you are interested in from the dropdown list. This gives you all trials for that cancer type on the database. You can choose between:

  • open trials
  • closed trials
  • results of clinical trials

Many trials looking at experimental treatments recruit people with different types of cancer rather than just one. We include these trials in the 'all types of cancer' category rather than under each individual cancer type.

The second is the advanced search. You can select things such as the phase of trial and a town or city, as well as the cancer type.

The database includes a large variety of UK cancer trials funded by lots of different people. So not all the trials you see in the search results are ECMC trials.

Search for a trial

How you can take part in a trial

All trials have eligibility criteria that you must meet to be able to take part. These include things such as:

  • the type of cancer
  • the stage of cancer
  • previous treatments
  • other medical conditions

Each trial on the database includes a summary of the criteria.

Print out a copy of the information and take it to your own doctor, if you see a trial that you are interested in on our database.

You and your doctor can then discuss whether you may be able to take part or not. You need a medical referral to take part in a clinical trial.

This means that if the trial looks suitable for you, your doctor needs to contact a doctor involved with the trial and ask if you can take part. This is true whether the trial is an ECMC trial or not.

Each trial also includes the Cancer Research UK Information Nurses contact details. The information nurse team are not directly involved with the trial and can’t recruit you.

Contact the nurses with general questions about trials, or if your doctor has asked for your nearest centre for a specific trial in order to refer you.

Find out more about how to join a clinical trial

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