What happens with the results of clinical trials

This page has information about the results of clinical trials and how you can find these.

Who gets the results?

Medical researchers have a duty to publish their results. Sharing research findings can show what was learned from the trial and any improvements the treatments could make to people’s treatment and care.

The results are usually presented at meetings and conferences for health professionals. They may also be published online and in medical journals. Details of the people taking part in a trial are not included in the results.

The information you will get about a trial usually explains what will happen to the results. Ask your doctor or nurse how you can find out about the results if you would like to know them.

On this page, when we talk about results, we are not talking about how the trial treatments may affect you. That will be different for everyone. You will have tests while you are on the trial, to check how well the treatment is working. Speak to your trial doctor or nurse if you would like to know more about what difference the treatment has made to your own health.

What happens after the trial finishes?

If a trial is successful and the new treatment works, it can still take a long time before it is used in the NHS.

If the treatment involves a new drug, it will need to be licensed for use in the UK. It will also need to be approved for use in the NHS. This is done by the following organisations:

They will look at the results of all the studies involving the new treatment and decide whether it should be funded on the NHS. Their decision is partly based on whether the benefits of the treatment outweigh the financial costs of providing it.

Clinical Trial Finder

Use our Clinical Trial Finder to search for clinical trials for pancreatic cancer that are taking place in the UK at the moment.

Go to the Clinical Trial Finder
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" There's a couple of important things that if you're going into a clinical trial you need to understand. Firstly – this isn't being offered as a treatment which will help you. It possibly could, but it is a trial to get greater understanding of new drugs and how they work. The other thing is, you might go through it and just suddenly for whatever reason say 'I just don't want to do it.' They make it very clear: anytime you want to stop, that's fine. Have a good look at it and ask lots of questions. You're part of the process – you can't just sit on the side-lines, you're totally part of that trial. But ultimately, you've got to decide if it's right for you."

Robert, clinical trial participant

Watch our videos about taking part in pancreatic cancer clinical trials

Robert shares his experience of taking part in a clinical trial.

Watch Robert's story on YouTube
Still image from Robert's video on YouTube, showing a man talking to camera in his kitchen

Published February 2022

Review date February 2025