Share this

Cancer Studies

The Cancer Network supports a wide range of clinical studies which are helping to progress cancer care in Scotland and beyond and all Scottish research ongoing within the network is registered with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). The cancer clinical trial portfolio is very dynamic and is frequently changing as studies open and close to recruitment. Across Scotland, there is a wide range of clinical trials happening in different disease sites. Information on trials happening in the UK can be found on the UK Clinical Trials Gateway and the Cancer Research UK website. For specific information on trials happening in Scotland please contact your cancer professional or your local cancer research network.

To highlight the clinical trials happening in Scotland the cancer research network will feature current trials happening during the different cancer awareness months that happen throughout the year.


November: Cancer Awareness Month

 Pancreas, Lung and Mouth Cancers


Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is part of the digestive system and has two important functions; it contains pancreatic juices which make enzymes to help break down food as it passes down the digestive tract. It also produces hormones including insulin which help control blood sugar levels in the body. Cancer can develop in various areas of the pancreas but the most common one develops in the cells that produce the digestive juices and this is called an exocrine tumour.

Around 9,600 people in the UK get pancreatic cancer each year. It is the 11th most common cancer and numbers continues to rise.

For more information on pancreatic cancer, please see the Cancer Research UK Website. 

Pancreatic Cancer UK also has useful information.

Trial Spotlight

Precision Panc

This stage 1 study is looking at tissue samples of people with pancreatic cancer to see if they can identify the genetic make up of each person’s cancer and therefore be able to tailor cancer treatment to that individual patient. It will also look at why and how people could develop pancreatic cancer and will also look at developing ways to predict who is more at risk of getting it. The trial is recruiting in Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow.

Further information on this trial can be found here

Primus 001

This study follows on from the analysis done in the Precision Panc study. If the patient was recruited for Precision Panc, had provided blood and tissue samples but the cancer has spread, you may be able to take part in this study. The patient will be given either form of chemotherapy FOLFOX-A (FOLFOX and nab-paclitaxel) versus AG (nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine). The study looks at whether the newer FOLFOX combination of drugs keeps the cancer at bay for longer with lesser side effects. These studies are recruiting in Aberdeen and Glasgow and Tayside.

For further information on the study please click here

Please see additional information on both of these studies 

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can start in any part of the lungs or airways. There are two main types of lung cancer; Non Small Cell Lung Cancer which accounts for about 87 out of 100 lung cancers in the UK and is divided into 3 types; adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma. The other kind is Small Cell Lung Cancer which tends to spread faster, less people are diagnosed with this type and they tend to be smokers.

Lung cancer is the third biggest form of cancer in the UK. It affects about 46,000 people per year.  Smoking can be linked to around 86% of all diagnosed cases whether it is caused by the patient smoking themselves or by inhaling other people’s smoke. Exposure to certain chemicals or a family history of cancer could also have a bearing on why someone gets it.

More information on lung cancer can be found here

The British Lung Foundation also provides useful information and support.

Trial Spotlight

National Lung Matrix

This study is looking at patients with Non Small Cell Lung Cancer, one of the most common types of lung cancer with around 87% diagnosed with it.  The study identifies the gene changes within cancer cells and is then testing new experimental drugs targeted to work on the specific gene changes someone has in their cancer cells. It is called a stratified medicine approach.  They hope to see how well they work and whether they are safe, why some people benefit from the treatment and some don’t. The study will also help identify which changes are linked to drug resistance. The study is currently recruiting in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Further information can be gained here

Systems 2

This is a trial comparing the standard given dose of radiotherapy with higher doses to treat pain in those who have Mesothelioma. Usually they are offered radiotherapy to cope with pain as regular painkillers don’t always work. However the doctors want to ascertain which dosage works best for more patients and also what the side effects of this could be.

Please visit the CRUK website for further information.


This study is looking at patients with non small cell lung cancer and how their cancer cells can change over time and at different stages of the disease. This will involve taking blood and cancer cell samples over a period of 5 years from different parts of the tumour site and also from areas it may have spread to. They will analyse these changes to map the evolution of the cancer cells. The study aims to help understand why some cancer cells become immune to treatment and also eventually aims to be able to develop new treatments to counteract these changes. The study is recruiting in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

More information on this study can be obtained here

Mouth and Oropharyngeal Cancer

Mouth cancer starts in the oral cavity, e.g. lips, tongue, floor or roof of the mouth, or in Oropharyngeal cancer it may start in the tonsils, back wall of the throat or the back third of the tongue etc. It tends to affect men more than women and about 7,800 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK. Surgery may be necessary to ensure a patient can still breathe, eat and swallow and they may also have radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy to treat the cancer.

Please click here for more information on mouth and oropharyngeal cancers.

Trial Spotlight


This study looks at those with high risk oropharyngeal cancers which don’t respond as well to standard treatment. Usually doctors treat this type of cancer with a chemotherapy drug cisplatin and radiotherapy. The study aims to compare this type of treatment with 4 other forms of treatment to see which works best and will also study how patients cope day to day with the treatment. This study is currently recruiting in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Further information can be found here