Clinical trials

Clinical trials can be an important treatment option for people with pancreatic cancer. In this section we explain what clinical trials are, what they involve and how to find a clinical trial.

Coronavirus and clinical trials

Some clinical trials are not recruiting any new patients at the moment because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Speak to your doctor or nurse about this. If you are taking part in a clinical trial, your medical team will be able to tell you more.

If you have pancreatic cancer and have any questions about how coronavirus might affect you, you can speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.

Read our information about coronavirus

Watch our video to find out more about clinical trials

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are medical research studies involving people. They help researchers and doctors find out if a new treatment or a new way of providing care:

  • is better than a current one
  • has side effects
  • helps people to feel better
  • is safe.

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer are important because they show us what medicines and healthcare do and don’t work. They can also look at what causes pancreatic cancer, how to prevent it and find better ways to diagnose it.

Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer may include:

  • finding ways to diagnose pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage
  • finding better ways of giving existing treatments – for example, combining different chemotherapy drugs or giving combinations in different ways
  • testing new treatments
  • looking at ways to control the side effects of treatments
  • looking at how best to provide care.

Most pancreatic cancer trials are looking at different treatment options. They aim to find better treatments that can help people live longer and improve the quality of their daily life.

Find clinical trials in the UK

Use our Clinical Trial Finder to search for clinical trials for pancreatic cancer in the UK.

Visit our Trial Finder

References and acknowledgements


References

Email us at publications@pancreaticcancer.org.uk for references to the sources of information used to write this information.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the following people who reviewed our
information about clinical trials for pancreatic cancer.

  • Joanna Calder, Hepatobiliary Research Nurse, Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pippa Corrie, Consultant and Associate Lecturer in Medical Oncology, Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Karen McAdam, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mairéad McNamara, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ganesh Radhakrishna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Justin Waters, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK Information Review Volunteers
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK Specialist Nurses

Published July 2018

Review date July 2021