What happens if I do decide to take part in a trial?
If you are offered a suitable trial, the doctors and nurses in the research team will explain:
- the purpose of the trial
- the advantages and disadvantages
- what is involved
- that you can leave the trial at any time.
You will be given detailed written information about the trial. You will also be given the name of a research nurse who you can speak to about any questions you have. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to ask the research team questions and discuss what’s involved.
If you do decide to take part, you will be asked to sign a consent form saying that you understand what is involved and agree to take part. This is called giving ‘informed consent’. You will be given a copy of the information and the signed consent form to keep. These include details about what was discussed with you, and how the research team will keep your medical records private.
You will be given as much time as you need to decide whether to take part in the trial. You should have at least 24 hours between being invited to take part and signing the consent form. This is to give you plenty of time to think about the trial and talk to other people, including your family and GP if you wish to. Even after you sign the consent form, you can still leave the trial at any time.
You will be given a phone number to contact at any time, as well as in an emergency, such as if you feel unwell or are admitted to hospital for any reason.
To check you are suitable to take part in a trial, you may need to have some tests, sometimes called screening tests. They will be explained in the information you are given.
Screening tests may include:
- blood and urine tests
- scans, which produce pictures of the inside of your body
- biopsies, which take tissue samples
- other tests, such as tests on your heart or eyes, if there’s a risk that the new treatment could affect them
- a pregnancy test.
These tests will not be done unless you have signed the consent form, because they form part of the research study. It may take some time to complete them and get all the results. Speak to the research team and your doctor about these tests and how long they take, so that you know exactly what is involved.
The screening tests may find something that means you don’t meet the trial entry criteria after all. It can be very disappointing and frustrating if the screening tests show that you aren’t suitable for the trial. You will still be given the best treatment and care available outside the trial. Speak to your doctor or nurse about your treatment options.
Find out more about taking part in clinical trials
- Use our Trial Finder to find open trials for pancreatic cancer in the UK.
- Cancer Research UK and UK Clinical Trials Gateway also have information about clinical trials, including trials taking place in the UK.
- You can find out about other clinical trials taking place around the world, at ClinicalTrials.gov
- The Elizabeth Coteman Fund gives grants to people with pancreatic cancer who can’t afford the costs of travelling to take part in a clinical trial.