Research and innovation
GenesisCare conducts internationally recognised, high-quality clinical trials. Our doctors and research staff have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that’s helping to improve healthcare in the UK and around the world.
Our clinicians believe that new treatments should only be adopted once adequate assessment has taken place to confirm their effectiveness and safety. The research of today gives us new treatments for tomorrow.
Together, we can improve future health outcomes for people with cancer today and for generations to come.
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a medical study involving volunteers to develop new treatments, interventions, or tests to detect, treat or manage various diseases and medical conditions.
Some trials examine how people respond to a new treatment and identify possible side effects. This helps us determine how a new treatment works, whether it’s safe, and if it’s better than other treatments that are already available.
Clinical trials might also compare existing treatments, test new ways to use or combine existing treatments, or observe how people respond to other factors that might affect their health, such as dietary changes.
Other trials look at ways to diagnose diseases earlier or how to prevent particular diseases and medical conditions.
Scientists and healthcare professionals rely on the results from clinical trials to make new and better treatments available to those that need them. This is only possible with the help of the people who volunteer to take part in clinical trials. The more people in our clinical trials, the faster new treatments can become available to the community.
We believe every patient with cancer deserves the option of a clinical trial with access to novel, innovative, cutting-edge treatments offered by leading clinical experts.
How do clinical trials work?
Clinical trials for new treatments start out by testing the treatment in a small number of people to assess safety and effectiveness.
If the results are promising, the treatment moves to later stages of testing where we collect more information on effectiveness and possible side effects by increasing the number of people in the clinical trial. The new treatment is usually compared to another treatment already in use, or a placebo, depending on what the standard of care is for that particular need.
If the treatment passes these stages, it becomes licensed for use in regular practice for those who need it. Most treatments will continue to be studied in practice to collect data that helps optimise the treatment further and monitor long-term outcomes and side effects.
Clinical trials are a type of research that studies new tests and treatments and evaluates their effects on human health outcomes
- The World Health Organisation (WHO)
Clinical trials are used to develop a wide range of medical tests, treatments or services, including but not limited to:
- Medical devices
- Biopharmaceuticals (such as vaccines)
- Surgical and other medical treatments and procedures
- Psychotherapeutic and behavioural therapies
- Health service changes
- Preventive care strategies
- Educational interventions
Most modern medical treatments are a direct result of clinical research. New treatments for all diseases and conditions — including cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and asthma — have been developed through clinical research. Computer simulation and animal testing can only tell us so much. Without clinical trials, we can’t determine whether new treatments are effective or safe in humans or whether a diagnostic test works properly. If we want to understand how a new medical treatment or diagnostic test works on the human body, there’s no substitute for working with actual humans.
Clinical trials also make it possible to test and monitor the effects of a treatment on large numbers of people. This ensures that any improvement is a result of the treatment for many people, and not a random effect for one person.
Clinical trials often lead to new treatments that help people live longer and have less pain or disability. Clinical trials also help improve healthcare services by raising standards of treatment. Doctors and medical staff involved in clinical trials are continually training to provide best practice medical care.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important research is. Without research there would have been limited understanding of the virus, vaccines would not have been developed and many more individuals would have sadly died. All the advancements and understanding about COVID-19 happened thanks to research.
New treatments that help people live longer, healthier lives are only possible because of the willingness of volunteers to take part in clinical trials. We need volunteers to help find new ways to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure disease and disability. If more people are involved in clinical trials, it may reduce the time it takes for new treatments to become available to the general population.
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons:
- To contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge
- To help researchers find better treatments for others in the future
- To potentially receive a benefit from the treatment for their condition
- To gain access to new treatments before they become widely available
- To receive additional care and support by clinical trial staff
- Be Part of Research – find information about clinical trials from across the UK
- Cancer Research UK – search clinical trials specifically for cancer
- International Clinical Trials Registry Platform – access clinical trials from all over the world
- NHS – information about clinical trials
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – funds and delivers research
Clinical trials at GenesisCare
As a global organisation, we’re able to share our knowledge and work with GenesisCare teams from Australia, Spain and the US where further research and clinical trials are conducted.
All research conducted by GenesisCare conforms to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects) and to international Good Clinical Practice guidelines. Before research can go ahead in the UK, it’s approved by an independent ethics committee that operates according to the guidelines issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Our clinical research in the UK currently takes place at our Windsor, Cambridge and Oxford sites. We also have a research partnership with the University of Oxford where the The Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology is one of the world’s leading centres for radiotherapy-related research.
Every patient gets the standard of care treatment – either alone or combined with a new treatment. Our job is to work with you to make sure that new treatments live up to their claims.
It’s important you know that you’re not obliged in any way to take part in a clinical trial. If you do take part, you can withdraw at any time without it affecting your ongoing medical care.