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.
Research into scans for head and neck cancers
Researchers are looking at ways of improving scans to diagnose cancer and also to see how well treatment is working.
Research into treatments
Researchers are looking at ways of improving treatments, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted cancer drugs.
Talk to your healthcare team to find out if there are any trials that you might be able to take part in.
Research into immunotherapy and a targeted cancer drug
Pembrolizumab is an
Lenvatinib is a
Researchers are looking at whether having lenvatinib with pembrolizumab works better than pembrolizumab on its own as a treatment for head and neck cancer.
Oxygen treatment to prevent bone damage
Sometimes radiotherapy to the head and neck area can damage the jawbone. This damage is called osteoradionecrosis (ORN). If the damage is bad enough to cause symptoms, you might need surgery to remove the damaged part of the jawbone.
A research study looked at whether a treatment called hyperbaric oxygen could help to heal the jaw bone after surgery. We are waiting to see what the results of this study will show.
Research into the long term side effects of radiotherapy
A study is looking into developing a computer tool to predict what long term side effects people might have after radiotherapy.
Search for a trial
You can go to our clinical trials database and look for clinical trials for nasal and paranasal sinus cancer.