Tests of treatments on patients are called clinical trials. Cancer Research UK supports many UK and international clinical trials. The video shows what it is like to take part in a trial.
Ash: I was offered a place on a trial by my cancer nurse
Jean: There was a new trial with new drugs and they were confident it would work and they offered it to me and I’m so glad I took it.
Nilesh: What we did, my wife and I, was to do some research on the internet. We came across the source trial which is what I went on and we took that to the doctor and then requested that we be put on to that.
Amy: The only thing that did sort of trouble us as a family when they did tell us was that it was possibly quite painful and there may be some side effects that they didn’t know about.
Ash: I was quite concerned about taking part in a trial because you hear the word trial and you think its test.
Nilesh: You know you hear about trials, clinical trials, drug trials things like that. My reservations were what the side effects were going to be.
Ash: I decided it was the right thing for me because it would potentially offer patients in the future less side effect risk.
Jean: There were lots of questions I had to ask and they were all answered and I was confident in going through the trial and the after care.
Nilesh: Right from day one they’ve been monitoring me. You know I have regular checkups and all that.
Amy: Any symptoms that arose with Poppy, somebody was always there to make sure that she wasn’t in any pain or any suffering.
Ash: I didn’t feel that they were hiding anything from me which when you’re talking about a clinical trial is so important.
Jean: It’s a really warm feeling knowing that what you did has helped other people.
Nilesh: I just hope that I played a part in a new drug that’s out there.
Ash: For other patients and also for society in general.
Nilesh: You’ve got to feel comfortable about the trial itself before you sign up for it. So do your background knowledge and just be 100% that that’s where you want to go.
Ash: Think about it very carefully. Read all of the background literature and ask lots and lots of questions because there’s no harm in doing that.
Reducing side effects of treatment
A trial is looking at whether acupuncture can reduce the nerve damage that chemotherapy treatment can cause for some people.
Researchers are also looking into the side effects of chemotherapy that affects the tummy (stomach) and bowels.
Research is continuing into chemotherapy drugs and combinations of chemotherapy drugs to treat gallbladder cancer. Researchers are looking into:
- using chemotherapy to stop, or slow down, the cancer coming back after surgery
- controlling the symptoms of advanced gallbladder cancer
- comparing chemotherapy drugs
Research into cancer treatment
Doctors treat cancer that has spread with a biological therapy, or chemotherapy or both. But sometimes the treatment stops working and the cancer no longer responds to it. This means the cancer has become resistant to the treatment.
Researchers want to understand why cancer becomes resistant to treatment and how to predict when this might happen.
Diagnosing gallbladder cancer
Doctors use blood tests, scans and biopsies to diagnose gallbladder cancer. Researchers hope a test that looks for a protein called Mcm5 will be better at diagnosing gallbladder cancers. Mcm stands for ‘minichromosome maintenance’ protein. This is a new test.