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Southampton Clinical Trials Unit (SCTU)

How to take part in a clinical trial

Find out if you might be suitable and how you can get involved.

We run clinical trials to discover new treatments, new ways to diagnose diseases, or even to monitor people’s symptoms and help them cope with the side effects from treatments.

Sometimes we need patients or people with experience of a condition to take part. There are steps to take to discover if this could be suitable for you or a loved one.

People affected by a condition often want to know if a clinical trial might be an option for them. Find out what trials are being run and how to decide whether to join one.

How to find out if a trial could help you

If you are interested in taking part in a trial, you should speak to your doctor or medical professional responsible for your care. We cannot respond directly to patient enquiries.

Your doctor or specialist can make requests to us and others places that run trials. They will then be able to refer you if they decide a trial would be in your interests.

Trials will not always be suitable for you or likely to benefit you.

Find out more about trials taking place from these websites:

Making the decision to take part in a trial

If a trial is found to be suitable for you, your doctor or hospital research team will talk to you about it. They will give you a patient information sheet telling you about:

  • the aims of the trial
  • the hospital visits you could expect
  • what would happen at those visits
  • possible side effects of the treatment

You will have time to go away and read this information and to ask any questions before you decide to take part.

What it's like to take part in a trial

Crispin's story: taking part in a immunotherapy trial

Crispin, a 40-year-old doctor, was accepted onto one of our immunotherapy trials to treat his oesophageal cancer. He had been told he might only have months to live.

Read Crispin's story

Ivan's story: taking part in a prostate cancer trial

Ivan took part in the CRUK-funded ProCAID trial after his standard treatment for prostate cancer stopped working.

Ivan's story

Ivan talks about his experience of taking part in a clinical trial in this 2-minute YouTube video.
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