Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients

Cancer clinical trials are a core activity of the NCCP designated cancer centres. They can improve outcomes by offering patients access to treatments, which may not be otherwise available.

A clinical trial is a research study that looks at how to treat a particular condition.  Sometimes, the particular type of cancer that a patient has might be suitable for a clinical trial. Clinical trials can allow patients access to new treatments that might help to improve their outcome. There are different types of clinical trials, which can include for example cancer drugs or radiation or surgery.

In the case of cancer drugs, a clinical trial looks at how a new drug, or a combination of drugs, works for a particular type of cancer.  If a clinical trial is relevant for a particular patient, their medical oncologist or haematologist, or a member of their team, will discuss this with them. 

Additional information on clinical trials is available from the following:

Cancer Trials Ireland lead on many of the cancer drugs trials that are available in Ireland; but there are others.  If patients have questions about clinical trials, they should ask their doctor or a member of their team.

There are a number of different types of clinical trials as detailed in the table below, which also details where information on those trials can be accessed.

Trial type

Trial Information

Trials may be facilitated or led through a collaborative research group such as Cancer Trials Ireland (CTI formerly ICORG).

Academic/ Investigator led

Pharmaceutically led


Details of such trials, if available, would be from a patient’s consultant or the trial sponsors directly

Please note that CTI may also list some trials that are academic/ investigator led or pharmaceutically led.

The NCCP has defined clinical trials in the context of the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 KPI (PDF) (No 3).

Last updated on 13/04/2023