Our clinical trials test new drugs or combinations of drugs in people living with blood cancer. Trials are really important, because they’re the only way we can prove whether the new treatments developed through research will improve care for people with blood cancer.
The UK has a strong track record in conducting high quality blood cancer clinical trials. As a National Cancer Research Institute partner organisation, Bloodwise provides support for the Clinical Studies Groups that shape the UK blood cancer trials portfolio. We also provide direct funding for trials in a number of ways. Here you can read about all the trials we fund, including trials funded through our dedicated Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) network.
Clinical trial phases
As you read about the trials that we fund, you will see reference to three main types or “phases” of clinical trial. These refer to different stages of testing of a new treatment. Each of these stages can tell researchers about whether a drug is effective in patients and how it is working. But to really understand whether a new treatment is safe to use and better than existing treatments, it needs to be tested in each of these phases.
Each phase of clinical testing has the following goal and some trials address more than one phase:
- phase I trials test the safety of new drugs or treatments and establish the appropriate dosage
- phase II trials confirm the optimum dosage of new drugs and identify any side effects
- phase III trials compare new drugs or treatments with the best currently available treatments
At Bloodwise, most of our funding for clinical trials is focussed on “early phase” trials (phase I and phase II), to establish whether potential new treatments are promising enough to proceed to evaluation in a late phase trial. But we are also funding some late phase trials – the last step before patients can routinely be given the drugs by their doctor.
Trial associated research
Clinical trials must collect adequate information to understand if a new treatment has worked or not, but ideally we want to know more. So we fund research projects that use samples and data from people involved in clinical studies. Sometimes the result of a clinical trial only tells us that a treatment did or did not work. Additional laboratory studies can tell us why, and that can accelerate the development of treatments even faster. Sometimes additional laboratory studies can also help researchers develop new diagnostic tests, which can help doctors make better choices about what is the right treatment for each patient at the right time.