Clinical trials

Clinical trials are carried out by Belfast Trust staff to find better ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.

Cancer clinical trials are coordinated by the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network (NICTN), which is based at the Cancer Centre.

The NICTN works in active partnership with:

The NICTN also collaborates with other Trusts, research organisations and funders.

Cancer clinical trials are used to find out if a new or different treatment is safe, effective and better than current treatment. The NICTN has information on current trials it is involved in.

Belfast Trust is part of a network of hospitals that take 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 the 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 take part in a trial, they will be asked to sign a consent form.

    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 remember that some treatments that look promising at first are later found to be no 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 will not be asked to give a reason. They will be offered the standard treatment for their situation.


Contact the NICTN at Belfast Trust

Address: NICTN, East Podium C Floor, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast

Phone: 028 9063 8468

Email: nictn@belfasttrust.hscni.net

Website: www.nictn.hscni.net