Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer

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.

Key facts

  • Clinical trials are medical research studies involving people.
  • Most pancreatic cancer trials are looking at different treatment options.
  • Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer are important because they show us what treatments and care do and don’t work. They help to improve future pancreatic cancer treatments and medical knowledge.
  • New treatments go through different types of trial, known as phases. Each phase involves more people.
  • You may have access to new treatments through a clinical trial. But the new treatments may not be any better than the treatments that are already available.
  • If you are interested in a trial, ask the doctor or nurse any questions you have. You can find some suggested questions to ask your doctor or nurse later in this section.
  • Each trial has strict rules for who can take part. Not all trials are suitable for everyone.
  • If you decide to take part in a trial, you will be given detailed information about it, including information in writing.
  • You can leave a clinical trial at any time, without it affecting your care.

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.

Clinical Trial Finder

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

Visit our Clinical Trial Finder

Watch our video to find out more about clinical trials

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer are important because they show us what treatments and care do and don’t work. They can also look at what may increase the risks of getting 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 drug 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.

Some trials also look at how people feel as a result of treatment, or what they think about the treatment they have had. The trial may call this patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) or patient reported experience measures (PREMS).

If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, ask your doctor or nurse if there are any trials that are suitable for you. You can also find open trials in the UK on our Clinical Trial Finder.

Read our fact sheet about clinical trials

Download our fact sheet, Clinical Trials for pancreatic cancer.

Download our fact sheet
Thumbnail of p.1 of the fact sheet

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.

  • Ganesh Radhakrishna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mairéad McNamara, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pippa Corrie, Consultant and Associate Lecturer in Medical Oncology, Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK Lay Information Reviewers
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK Specialist Nurses

Published February 2022

Review date February 2025