Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are conducted by staff in the Belfast Trust as part of high quality patient care to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Cancer clinical trials are co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network (NICTN), based at the Cancer Centre. The NICTN at Belfast Trust works in active partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, the Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency. Cancer Research UK and Friends of the Cancer Centre. It also collaborates with other Trusts, research organisations and funders. Trials take place in the Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and the Mater Hospital.

Cancer clinical trials find out if a new or different treatment is safe, effective and better than current treatment. You can find out more information here.

The Belfast Trust is part of a network of hospitals taking part in cancer clinical trials across Northern Ireland and the UK.

  • Taking Part in a Trial

    There are many clinical trials, but they are not suitable for everyone. Patients will be notified of clinical trials by their Consultant as part of discussions around treatment options. The doctor and research staff will provide written information and discuss the trial, what’s involved, and risks and benefits. There will also be an opportunity for the patient to discuss the trial with family and other staff. If a patient chooses to enter a trial, they will be invited to sign a Consent Form to participate in the trial. While patients are taking part in a clinical trial, a Clinical Research Nurse or Research Radiographer may be involved in their care and will act as a contact. Patients will be carefully monitored during and after the treatment, according to the research plan. Patients can withdraw from the trial at any time.

    Taking part in a clinical trial may provide access to a new treatment before it becomes available to others. It is also important to bear in mind that some treatments that look promising at first are later found not to be better than existing treatments, or to have side effects that outweigh the benefits. Each clinical trial is different. Doctors and research staff will discuss each aspect of a specific trial with patients and their families.

    If patients do not wish to take part in a trial, their decision will be respected and they do not have to give a reason. There will be no change in the way that they are treated by the hospital staff and they will be offered the standard treatment for their situation.

  • Current Clinical Trials

    There are a number of clinical trials and other research studies for specific cancer types which are open to recruitment by cancer patients in Northern Ireland including; Anal, Bladder, Bowel, Brain, Breast, Leukaemia, Lung, Lymphoma, Kidney, Myeloma, Oesophageal, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Prostate, Stomach, Testicular and Children’s Cancers.

    For information on clinical trials that are currently underway is available here.

Contact the NICTN at Belfast Trust


NICTN, East Podium, C-Floor, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast

Phone: 02890 638468