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What happens next?

Women discussing trials

This page is about what happens when you or your doctor have found a trial that is suitable for you. It includes information on


Contacting the trial team

If you or your doctor find a trial that you want to join, the doctor will put your name and details forward to the doctor running the trial. A meeting will be arranged between you and

  • A research doctor
  • A research nurse
  • Your specialist if it is a multicentre trial and your treatment centre is taking part

Remember - the meeting is so that the researchers can give you all the information you need about the trial. You have not agreed to join by going to the meeting.

You shouldn't have to decide whether to take part in the trial at this meeting. The researchers may have already arranged another meeting, after you have had time to take everything in. You can ask for as many meetings as you need. And ask any questions you need to at these meetings. It's important to ask if you don't understand anything. Then, once you have been given the information you need, you can make a clear decision about what you want to do.

The researchers must get your 'informed consent' before you enter the trial. There is an explanation about informed consent on the next page of this section.

Remember - You can withdraw from a trial at any time without giving a reason. This will not be held against you. You will then have the treatment that is standard for your type and stage of cancer.


If you agree to enter the trial

If it is a randomised trial, you will be given a code number and the computer will put you into one of the trial groups. The trial organisers must give you details of who to contact, especially in an emergency. If you have a treatment reaction, your doctor may need to get in touch with the researchers in a hurry.

You will have any tests that the protocol requires before you start your treatment. Then, you will receive the treatment for your trial group. After that, you will have check ups or scans when the protocol says you should.


After the trial

You may not have any more contact from the researchers after you have taken part in the trial. If you want to, you could ask the researchers to let you know when the results are published. Remember, this is likely to be some years after you took part.

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Updated: 10 October 2013