Clinical Trials - Questions to Ask Your ClinicianDownload
Availability of trials
As sarcoma is a less common form of cancer with many distinct subtypes, there are only a small number of trials open at one time. Sometimes there may be no trials running for your particular sub-type in your area; however it is often possible to take part in studies happening in different parts of the UK. If you see a trial taking place outside your area that you think you may be eligible for, do discuss it with your clinical team who may be able to refer you. Our research pages have more information on how we intend to increase the number of trials for sarcoma across the UK.
We aim to feature all trials for sarcoma patients on this site. However, there may be phase 1 trials recruiting patients from a range of different cancer types which may accept sarcoma patients. For more information on the availability of these trials talk to your clinical team.
Each trial will have a list of eligibility criteria. This is a list of characteristics that all patients must have to be accepted onto the study. These are often related to type of cancer, age, medical history and current level of health. In our find a trial section, we provide a small number of key criteria for each trial. Your clinical team will have access to a more comprehensive list.
Advantages and Disadvantages
A decision to take part in a clinical trial is a personal one. Your choice may be influenced by many different factors in your life and the practicalities of taking part in the trial itself.
About the trial
Trials can offer the opportunity to try new treatments, however, being part of a trial does not mean you will have access to a new drug. The treatment you will receive during the trial will depend on how the trial is designed. You may be given a new drug, placebo or the standard treatment which is already being used. Trials may also look at different doses or methods of delivering treatments.
Your decision to join a trial may be influenced by a number of factors including:
- The type of treatment you may have
- Possible side-effects of treatment
- Frequency of tests and scans
- Time you will spend in hospital
Practical issues such as location of the trial and travel arrangements may influence your decision. You may require time off work and there may be financial implications to consider. You might also need to spend more time in hospital or attend more appointments when on a trial. Many trials can cover expenses and you may also be entitled to benefits or financial support.
Quality of life
When making the decision about whether or not to join a trial, there may be clear pros and cons. Thinking about your quality of life is about weighing these up, not only against each other, but also in the context of your life and well-being.
You may find that the taking part itself can provide a sense of achievement and fulfilment despite negative aspects. And in cases where the trial may offer a chance to receive more effective treatment or to prolong life, this opportunity may outweigh any potential downsides.
Being part of a trial may involve being treated with drugs causing side-effects. This might be a particularly important to think about if you are approaching the end of your life and you want to stay feeling well for as long as possible.
For more support and information about making a decision, see how to join a trial.