Clinical trials database pro forma

Cancer Research UK has a clinical trials database. This includes trials that:

  • are recruiting patients
  • closed to recruitment
  • have results

We source these trials in a variety of ways. For more information about this, see our clinical trials database editorial policy.

This page tells you about the different sections of a trial summary and the information included in each one.

How to add your trial

If you would like to add information about your trial to our database, we would be interested to hear from you. Please read the information below and then email us at


We often alter the wording to make it easy to understand. We include any acronyms to make it easier to identify specific trials.

Summary paragraph

This provides the key information people would need to know. This is usually the cancer type and stage. If the title has explained what the trial is looking at for example ‘This trial is comparing 2 types of chemotherapy..’ we would not repeat this information in the opening sentences as this is unnecessary duplication. We would also state here if the trial is only happening in 1 location.

We include information about whether the trial is supported by Cancer Research UK here.

More information about this trial

This gives more details about what the trial is looking at and includes some information about the usual treatment or tests for that type of cancer (if relevant). It includes:

  • a brief description of the new treatment or test and how it works
  • an explanation of why they are running the trial 
  • the aims of the trial - for example whether it is finding the best dose or comparing a new treatment to existing standard treatment, for example

While containing all the relevant information detailed above, the summary should be as brief as possible and not duplicate information in other fields.

We can also make it clear (either here or in the trial design section below) if patients cannot volunteer for or be referred to take part in the trial (in other words, if people have to be invited to take part).

Who can enter the trial

We take this information directly from the protocol. We generally include all inclusion and exclusion criteria, although we may group some together. For example, we usually group specific blood tests together as ‘satisfactory blood test results’.

We include:

  • stage and grade of cancer
  • other factors, such as cancer spread to the brain or bone (metastases)
  • past or current treatments
  • other medical conditions
  • age and general health (performance status)

Trial design

This is a summary of the design of the trial, and usually includes:

  • how many people will take part
  • how many trial groups there are and what the treatment is for each group, or if all patients have the same treatment
  • if the trial is randomised
  • how many times (and how often) people have treatment
  • if it is a dose escalation or dose expansion trial 
  • if it includes a quality of life questionnaire
  • if there are any substudies, or parts of the trial that are optional (for example, the collection of tissue samples)
  • a diagram if appropriate
  • image(s) if available in trials of new devices

Hospital visits

In this section we outline what the trial involves from the patients’ perspective. This helps them to get an idea of the impact it will have on their day to day lives. We include information such as:

  • how often people in the trial have to attend hospital, and what for
  • what tests they have before, during and after treatment
  • if they can have treatment as an outpatient or if not, how long they will stay in hospital for
  • how often they see the doctors for follow up appointments, and what happens at these visits

Side effects

We include information about the known (or possible) side effects of all treatments given in the trial.

We include links to pages for more information about existing treatments and how to cope with specific side effects such as sickness or hair loss, for example.

If the trial is looking at a new treatment, we say what the possible side effects are, but explain that there may be others we don’t know about yet.


When results of a trial are available, we add a plain English summary of the main findings. This may include diagrams if appropriate. At this point, the following fields are no longer visible on the site: trial design, hospital visits, side effects & location.

Location of trial

We list the name of the towns, cities, counties or regions where open trials have participating centres. This gives people an idea of whether there is a centre taking part near them, but stops people contacting the hospital directly and inappropriately.

If agreed by the trial team, we keep:

  • a list of specific hospitals and doctors in our internal secure database
  • information about whether they take referrals from non participating centres

If the Cancer Information Nurses have an enquiry from a patient who may be able to take part, they can give them the name of their nearest centre, so they can tell their own doctor who they need to be referred to.

Once a trial is closed to recruitment, the location field is not visible on the site.

Recruitment dates

We include the date recruitment started, and an estimate of when recruitment will end. This needs to be in “dd/mm/yyyy” format. This is very important as we can’t enter the trial onto the database without these dates.

The end date is a guide only. We use it as a prompt to check if the trial is still recruiting or not. We can easily edit this field at any time if need be. We aim for a conservative estimate so we can try to avoid trials closing before we check them.

Chief investigator

We include the name of the chief investigator in the UK.

Other information

This is an optional field. We can list any additional information, such as the Cancer Research UK trial number (if applicable).

We can also provide links to:

  • additional, appropriate information about the trial
  • a page elsewhere on our website providing more information about the Chief Investigator's research

Supported by

Here we list the organisations that are funding, supporting or managing the trial. They are not necessarily the legal ‘sponsor’ of the trial, although the list will include the sponsor.

The database includes trials funded by a variety of organisations, not just those run by Cancer Research UK. This includes:

  • other charities
  • research organisations
  • pharmaceutical companies
  • Government organisations
Last reviewed: 
27 Mar 2020
Next review due: 
27 Mar 2021