Advantages and disadvantages of clinical trials

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking part in a pancreatic cancer clinical trial and these may vary, depending on the trial.

If you find a suitable trial, think about the possible advantages and disadvantages and discuss these with your doctor or nurse. This will help you to decide if the trial is right for you.

Our video explains some of the main advantages and disadvantages of taking part in a clinical trial

Possible advantages

  • You may have access to new treatments.
  • There may be fewer side effects compared to the standard treatment.
  • You may have more regular tests, which some people find reassuring.
  • You will be given a research nurse.
  • You may help to improve future pancreatic cancer treatments and medical knowledge.

Possible disadvantages

  • The new treatment may not be any better than your current treatment.
  • There may be more side effects compared to the standard treatment.
  • The trial may not be available at a convenient location.
  • You will have to stick to the trial schedule and may have to go to hospital more often for tests and treatment, which can be inconvenient.
  • You may not like the uncertainty of not knowing whether you are taking a new drug, the standard treatment, or a placebo.

Find out as much as possible about the trial to help you to decide if you do want to take part. You can leave a clinical trial at any time, without it affecting your care.

Questions about clinical trials?

You should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of taking part in a clinical trial with your doctor or nurse.

You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.

Speak to our nurses
Pancreatic Cancer Nurse Jeni Jones

Published July 2018

Review date July 2021