"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A study looking at blood and tissue samples to learn more about advanced cancer (PEACE)
Coronavirus and cancer
We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help. If you have symptoms of cancer contact your doctor.
This study is asking people to agree to have samples taken of their cancer after their death. It is for people who have a brain tumour or a solid tumour cancer that has spread elsewhere in the body.
Cancer Research UK supports this study.
More about this trial
Doctors want to understand more about advanced cancer. One way of doing this is to look in more detail at the cancer.
In this study, the researchers will collect samples of your cancer after your death. You also have blood samples taken at different points during the study and after your death.
The aim of this study is to understand more about the changes that happen in a person’s cancer. The doctors will look at samples from where your cancer first started and any other areas where it may have spread to. They will also study cancer cells and DNA found in your blood.
They hope this will help them understand
- how cancer develops and spreads
- how and why treatment stops working
- how the body reacts in the final stages of cancer
You will not directly benefit from taking part in this study. But the results may help people with cancer in the future. For example, by seeing if there are new ways to boost the immune system to fight cancer.
Who can enter
The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.
You may be able to join this study if you are at least 18 years old and you have one of the following
- Any type of cancer (a solid tumour) except leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma and this cancer that has spread elsewhere in the body (advanced cancer)
- A brain tumour
You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You
- Have, or have had, a serious infection such as hepatitis C, tuberculosis or Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
- Are HIV positive
- Have a history of intravenous drug abuse in the last 5 years
- Have any other medical condition or mental health problem that would prevent you from consenting to take part
Please note: This study may not be suitable for you if your wish is to be buried or cremated within a certain period of time after death.
The researchers aim to collect the blood and tissue samples of at least 500 people over 5 years. In order to do this, they may need more than 500 people to join the trial.
You have a blood sample taken:
- when you join the study
- up to 4 different points after this
Where possible, you have this at the same time as your routine blood tests.
You might also have a blood sample taken after your death.
The main part of this study will happen after you have died. An expert called a pathologist will collect some samples (biopsies) of your cancer. They aim to do this within 24 to 48 hours of your death.
The sample collection takes place in the hospital mortuary. If you die outside of hospital, your body is transferred to hospital so that the samples can be taken.
The pathologist collects small samples of all areas of cancer in the body. They also collect small samples of normal tissue. These can be compared to the cancer samples. The sample might be photographed to keep a record of where in the body it was taken from.
All the biopsy areas are sutured (stitched). Your family or friends can then arrange collection of your body for cremation or burial.
These samples are matched with information about your cancer and treatment. If you agree, the study team will also look at stored samples of your cancer. These may have been taken when you had surgery or a biopsy.
The results of any genetic tests will not have an impact on your family. They will not be told about any results.
All blood and tissue samples are anonymised and stored in a secure place. The medical information and photographs are stored on a secure database. No one can link the study results to you.
When the study has finished, your samples are stored. These samples may be used for future research
You go to hospital to have your blood samples taken. It may be possible to arrange this at a time when you have a routine appointment. So you don’t have to make an extra journey.
This study does not involve a treatment and so there are no side effects associated with taking part.
You may have some temporary bruising and bleeding at the site of your blood test.
You might find it upsetting to talk about your death and about what you want to happen with your family and friends. You can discuss any concerns or questions with the study team.
How to join a clinical trial
Dr. Mariam Jamal-Hanjani
Cancer Research UK
University College London (UCL)