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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 take place throughout the year.


October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Brain Cancer Awareness Month


Breast Cancer

Breast cancer starts in the breast tissue, most commonly in the cells that line the milk ducts of the breast. It is the most common cancer in the UK. It mainly affects women but men can get it too. Around 55,200 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year and approximately 390 men. That is around 150 people a day.

Survival is generally very good for breast cancer and is continuing to improve. Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your condition, the type of cancer, what treatment you can have and your level of fitness. 

Further information can be found on the Cancer Research UK website by clicking here.


Trial Spotlight

POSNOC - POsitive Sentinel NOde: adjuvant therapy alone versus adjuvant therapy plus Clearance or axillary radiotherapy

This trial is looking at women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have had surgery but the cancer has also spread to one or two lymph nodes in the armpit. They are comparing women who have treatment/surgery for the cancer in the lymph nodes with those who have adjuvant therapy only e.g. Chemotherapy/Radiotherapy or Hormone therapy instead, as these drug therapies may be enough on their own to stop the spread of cancer.

This trial is recruiting patients in hospitals around Scotland.

Further information can be found by clicking here.



This trial is looking at using a test to determine whether a patient needs chemotherapy or only hormone therapy after having breast surgery. The test will study tissue samples and look at the cancer cells within that sample to determine whether chemotherapy is required. The study will look at whether it is safe to use a test to determine treatment. This trial is recruiting patients in hospitals around Scotland.  

For further information on this trial please see here.



This study is aimed at women with triple-negative breast cancer which is quite an uncommon type of cancer and only 15 in about 100 cases are of this type. The study is looking at the drug Olaparib alone or in conjunction with another drug AZD6738 and also AZD1775 (Please note: this particular arm has now closed because of its side effects) for triple-negative breast cancer that has spread. Triple-negative breast cancers are cancers whose cells don’t have receptors for the hormones oestrogen and progesterone and Her2 protein. Oestrogen attaches to oestrogen receptors, Progesterone attaches to progesterone receptors, Her2 attaches to Her2 receptors. 
Many breast cancers have receptors for one or more of these substances. But triple-negative breast cancers don’t have any of them. So hormone treatment and the targeted cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) don't work for people with triple-negative breast cancer. 

For further information please see here.

This study is currently recruiting in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.


Brain Cancer

Primary cancers that start in the brain are called brain tumours and these are different to brain cancer (secondary brain cancer) that has started in another part of the body and spread to the brain. Brain tumours can start in any part of the brain and they can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). There are about 130 different types of brain tumour. However many of them are very rare.

Useful information can be found on Cancer Research UK’s website here.


Trial Spotlight


This trial is looking at treatment for a type of brain tumour – Ependymoma - that tends to grow in the fluid-filled areas of the brain. They are generally diagnosed in children and young adults. Treatment is usually surgery followed by radiotherapy. However, there is a risk of the tumour coming back in the same place or elsewhere in the brain or spinal cord. 

This study is investigating whether additional chemotherapy treatment would be beneficial to stop the tumour returning, whether it is safe to have chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy and also looks at the side effects patients may experience.

This trial is currently recruiting in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

For further information on the trial please click here.