Clinical Trials for Testicular Cancer

There can be various reasons why scientists run clinical trials for testicular cancer. Often they take place to improve a particular treatment. This may involve changing existing medical or surgical treatment. Alternatively, the trial may focus on the treatment experience, such as working out how to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

Clinical trials are essential for developing successful cancer treatments and it may take many years to move from a clinical trial to standard treatment.

During treatment for testicular cancer, men may be asked if they would like to take part in a clinical trial. This will be entirely up to the individual and treatment will not be affected if you they do not want to take part. Men can also end  participation at any stage.

Watch oncologist, Professor Tom Powles explain how clinical trials work:

Advantages of Clinical Trials

  • Men may have the chance to be treated with a new type of drug or procedure which is not normally available.
  • Men may feel that you are helping other people and that some good has come out of their illness.

Disadvantages of Clinical Trials

  • Many trials use a process called randomisation to decide who receives the new treatment and who receives a placebo (a sugar pill).
  • Men may have to go to the hospital more often for blood tests or other procedures.
  • The treatment may not prove to be any better than the standard treatment.

How They Work

Phase 1

This involves research into safety and side effects, and whether the proposed treatment has any potential benefits.

Phase 2

This looks at how well a treatment works, usually among a small group of people. Information is collected about safety and side effects.

Phase 3

This tests the new treatment against the best existing treatment among a larger group of people. The researchers will want to see if the benefits from Phase 2 continue.

Phase 4

This is a wider trial. Researchers will still collect information on how well the treatment works. They will look for side effects that were not seen in the previous phases.

You can also get more information from NHS Choices here.