Cancer Research UK has added the 1000th clinical trial to its award winning patient information website, CancerHelp UK, on the 10th anniversary of the launch of its clinical trials database today.
The trials database is unique – no other service provides detailed information about clinical trials that is specifically written for the public in such an easy-to-read style.
The 1000th trial is investigating a new vaccine called IMA950 for newly diagnosed patients with a type of brain tumour called glioblastoma*.
Patients with this hard-to-beat cancer usually have surgery, followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
But it is hoped the vaccine, which helps the immune system to kill cancer cells, will improve survival – although it is still an experimental treatment and researchers are not yet sure how well it will work.
Anyone affected by glioblastoma or any other type of cancer can use the CancerHelp UK website to keep up to date with ongoing trials as well as trial results.
Jeanette Collins, a 51 year old social science researcher from County Down, Ireland was diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing a lump in her breast. Tissue analysis revealed Jeanette needed surgery to remove all the cancerous cells and so she had a mastectomy, her lymph nodes removed and chemotherapy.
“While having treatment I was looking for more information about my cancer and came across the CancerHelp UK website. It was there that I spotted the REACT clinical trial at Charing Cross hospital, London.
“I immediately called the trial nurse and she came to meet me at work to discuss whether I was eligible to take part. I was so impressed with her care and professionalism and was delighted to find out that I could join.
“Being on the trial made me feel empowered. I was taking some control over my health and doing all I could to help prevent my cancer returning. It’s extremely reassuring to know that I was part of a research community striving to find a cure for this disease. At a personal level I have received another layer of care, which would not otherwise been available to me.”
The site also provides a question and answer facility and ‘quick guides’ – summaries of each cancer section on the site. These features allow cancer patients and their families to find a wealth of easy to understand information on a wide range of issues related to living with cancer.
Liz Woolf, head of CancerHelp UK, said: “There are now more than 1000 clinical trials on our website.
“CancerHelp UK helps tens of thousands of people every week to get the information they need. Our aim is to help people who have been diagnosed with cancer or are worried about any signs and symptoms feel supported and armed with all the information they need.”
People affected by cancer can also speak to one of Cancer Research UK’s information nurses by calling freephone 0808 800 4040. The nurses are available between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. In addition, they can visit the Cancer Research UK online forum, www.cancerchat.org.uk, to talk to other people affected by cancer.