The MCRC is a research organisation and not directly involved in routine patient care. If you wish to discuss treatment options, you will need to contact The Christie NHS Foundation Trust which is a specialist cancer hospital.
Many patients at The Christie have the opportunity to take part in clinical research: approximately 1 in 5 patients who visited in 2013/14 as an outpatient had taken part in research at some point during their time as a Christie patient, and 20% of patients who have consented to research have been involved in more than one study at The Christie.
If you are a patient, please ask your consultant about taking part in a clinical trial; they will be able to offer you more information and advise you on whether you are suitable for referral. Please do not contact The Christie directly; a referral from your medical team is needed for you to be considered for treatment on a clinical trial.
As part of a clinical trial, you may be invited to donate blood, tumour and urine samples. Before you decide about donating your tissue, it is important that you understand why these samples are needed and what donating tissue will involve.
You may also be taking part in a phase I clinical trial, which involves testing new drugs, often for the first time, in a small group of patients. These trials may be offered to patients with advanced cancers; who have already exhausted other standard treatment options. They help researchers find out if a new drug is safe, if it has any side effects and how much of the drug can be given safely, and how often.
Phase I clinical trials also involve experimental drugs which target particular genetic faults within cancer and you may be asked if you wish to be tested for one of these genetic faults. If your cancer appears to have one of these faulty genes, you may then be invited to take part in an experimental therapy trial either before or after receiving standard therapies.
All phase I clinical trials are carried out according to a strict set of rules (called a protocol), to ensure that they are safe for the people taking part and that they measure the right things in the right way. They go through robust checks, from Research Ethics Committees and other regulatory bodies (for example the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency - MHRA), as well as from The Christie's own Research and Development Department, before the clinical trial can begin.
A Clinical Trials Support Group meets at Maggie's Manchester on the last Friday of the month from 11am until 12pm. Clinical research staff attend to provide advice and support, and the group is also an ideal opportunity to meet others taking part in a clinical trial. There is no need to book, just call in.
Involvement of patients, their families and the wider public in our research is extremely important. There is a variety of ways that you can become involved in cancer research: joining a committee to review funding applications, raising the profile of research projects and reviewing patient information leaflets are just some of the opportunities available.
Please visit The Christie's own website for further information on taking part in clinical trials or getting involved in research in other ways.