Clinical trials are research studies that aim to find new or better treatments, or look at using existing treatments in different combinations. Only around 7.5% of people with cancer in the UK participate in drug trials, and trials for secondary breast cancer can sometimes struggle to recruit patients.
Make 2nds Count wants to help patients gain access to trials, and in 2021 will fund projects that enable this to happen.
We also want to educate metastatic breast cancer patients and their families about clinical trials, as there can be some misunderstanding around them and the benefits they can bring.
So how are the drugs that are used in clinical trials developed?
Each new drug undergoes rigorous testing before it can be widely used. First it is tested in the laboratory. If it shows promise, it then has to go through several phases of testing on people in clinical trials before doctors are allowed to use it routinely to treat patients. If you want to understand more about how a drug is developed click here.
Stories in the media sometimes describe a new drug as ‘a major breakthrough’ when it’s still at the stage of laboratory testing. In fact, it may still be several years before the results from tests on patients in clinical trials become known, which can be disappointing and frustrating for people who see a new drug as a source of hope.
There are various stages at which you may be asked to join a clinical trial. These are called trial phases. If you want to understand more about how trial phases click here.