Clinical trials are an important aspect of the work that Oncologists and Surgeons perform on a daily basis. Quite often the research involves testing out new drug treatments either used on their own or used with more established drug treatments or radiotherapy in patients with oesophageal and gastric cancer. This is vital work if clinicians are to improve the number of patients being cured of their cancer or living longer with it. The research is often combined with having surgery for cancer.
Trials are usually at the stage of making a difference in changing treatment for patients in the future and are often ‘randomised’ meaning they compare a new drug or combination of new and old drugs and test which one is better. Patients or their doctor cannot choose what is selected for them. These trials are the final testing phase of new treatments and if a new treatment is found to be better will lead to a change in how we treat all our patients with oesophageal and gastric cancer.
Being on a trial doesn’t necessarily mean the patient will receive a cure, but it does provide some added reassurance that the treatment is being tested and monitored carefully, and may well be beneficial. Not every patient is suitable or eligible for a trial, because new treatments are often targeted at particular groups of patients at different stages of their illness. It is always best to discuss trials and eligibility with the Oncologist.
For information explaining about clinical trials in more detail click here.
The Cancer Research UK web site has a search facility. To search for trials that are currently underway click here.