How to find a clinical trial

This page tells you how you can find a clinical trial. It includes information on

Talking to your specialist

You usually need to be referred by your doctor if you want to join a trial. So asking your cancer specialist is the best place to start. They will have all your test results, records and reports, so they will know whether a particular trial is right for you.
There may be a trial locally which would suit you. Your specialist will know about any large national trials for your type of cancer and will be able to tell you if they are suitable for you.

Using our clinical trials database

We have a searchable database of cancer trials. All the information is written in plain English so it’s easy to understand.
We don't only include Cancer Research UK trials on our database. We aim to include information on all trials and studies that recruit people in the UK, funded by a wide range of organisations.
You can search for a specific trial, or for trials looking at:
  • types of cancer
  • stages of cancer
  • types of treatment
  • a specific treatment
We suggest you print off the information and take it to your own doctor to discuss, if you find a trial you are interested in. Very few specialists would mind this. They will be only too pleased to refer you if the trial is suitable.
There is a process for joining a trial that can be time consuming, but it is important. This involves an experienced research nurse or doctor explaining all about the trial, what may happen and about any possible risks. Our database isn't intended to replace the process of joining a trial.
The database also helps people affected by cancer to find out what is happening in the world of cancer research. You may be interested in finding out generally about current research.

Finding out more about a trial

Each summary on our database lists the contact details for the Cancer Research UK information nurses. They can talk through the trial with you and tell you where it is taking place. So if you would prefer to discuss a trial with someone before you approach your own doctor, you can ring or email the nurses.
But only your own doctor, who has all your medical details, can check for sure whether a trial is suitable for you. They can refer you to the doctor running the trial. Most studies have very strict entry conditions called eligibility criteria. This is to make sure the people taking part are as similar as possible. Find out about eligibility criteria.
People sometimes ask us if the information nurses can help them join a trial. Unfortunately, this is not something we can do via our website or the information nurses. You need to speak to your own doctor.

Related information


Last reviewed

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Find a trial

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 3.1 out of 5 based on 78 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think