Trials are designed by groups of medical, surgical, and other specialists.

They follow a thorough analysis of existing treatments and the identification of potentially better ways to detect and treat cancer.

The purpose of a trial is to test whether these new ways are effective and safe.

As the details of the trial are being worked out, discussions are held with medical and surgical staff, nurses, patients, statistical experts, and support staff, as well as representatives from pharmaceutical companies.

Before they are opened, trials go through a rigorous approval program with a number of checks and balances to make sure that they meet the highest safety and ethical standards.

When the trial is approved by the various regulatory authorities and Cancer Trials Ireland’s oversight committees, and after staff are trained on the trial’s specific details, it begins and patients are enrolled.

Some patients who may be interested in joining the trial may not meet all the criteria and for others it may not be in their best interests, for a variety of reasons.

While the decision to participate in a trial rests completely with the patient, the advice and guidance from their consultant and local research team is very important.

Staff in the Cancer Trials Research Units are a huge source of this advice and support, for both patients considering and currently on a trial. They would be happy to help you. Just ask!