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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.


May: Bladder Cancer Awareness Month and Skin/Sun Awareness Month


Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer begins in the lining of the bladder. The bladder is part of the urinary system, which filters waste products out of your blood and makes urine. Around 10,300 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year in the UK. Generally more men than women get bladder cancer and it is usually more common in those over 60 years of age.

For more information on bladder cancer please visit the Cancer Research UK website here and information and support can also be found at Action Bladder Cancer UK.  


Trial Spotlight

Keynote 676

This study will evaluate how well an investigational study drug called pembrolizumab works to treat high-risk, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer when combined with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vs BCG alone. BCG is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB). It is also very good at helping to stop or delay bladder cancers growing back or spreading into the deeper layers of the bladder. This contains a bacteria which has been weakened so that it can be used as a medicine. They are not quite sure how BCG works for bladder cancer. It seems to encourage cells of the immune system to grow and become very active in the bladder lining. These cells probably kill off any cancer cells that might grow back or have been left behind. In some patients BCG helps to stop bladder cancers coming back.

This study is recruiting in Inverness.


Evaluation of Elisa MCM5

This study is investigating whether a urine test called MCM5 ELISA can help detect cancer recurrence in patients who have already had bladder cancer. After initial treatment for bladder cancer the patient will have regular follow up appointments, a sample of urine will be tested to detect a protein called MCM5 which can indicate that cancer is present. The patient will also have a cystoscopy (where a tube is passed up the urethra to look into the bladder) 

This study is currently recruiting in Dundee.

More details can be found here.


Skin Cancer

Skin cancer includes basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancers, and other rarer types. These cancers occur in the epidermis layer of the skin. Melanoma is the 5th most common cancer in the UK and is the most aggressive form of the disease. It develops from damage to the skin cells called melanocytes which are in the deeper layers of the epidermis. Skin cancer tends to develop most often on skin that's been exposed to the sun. It is important that you check your skin regularly and see a doctor if any changes occur.

For more information on skin cancers please visit the CRUK website.


Trial Spotlight



Usually patients diagnosed with melanoma have surgery to remove it, followed by a combination of drugs to prevent the cancer from coming back. These targeted drugs are called cancer growth blockers and they work by stopping the signals to cancer cells to grow.   Unfortunately the two drugs most commonly used, dabrafenib and trametinib, can cause high fevers in patients leading to hospital stays in order to bring down the fever or even the stopping of treatment altogether. This study is investigating better ways for doctors to manage fever therefore allowing patients to continue on the treatment to give them a better chance. The study team will collect information about fevers, hospital stays and if the patient had to stop treatment and for how long. If trial patients do become unwell and have a fever they will be strictly monitored and will follow the study guidelines.

This study is currently recruiting in Inverness. 

Further information can be found here.



This study is for patients who can’t have their melanoma removed by surgery or it has spread to other parts of the body. Doctors use the standard combination of dabrafenib and trametinib to treat advanced melanoma. However after a period of time melanoma can build up a resistance to these drugs. The study is investigating whether having a break from the treatment could mean a longer period of time before the drug becomes resistant to cancer and also whether it will help reduce the side effects of treatment. All patients will receive BRAF+MEK inhibitor treatment with standard dabrafenib+tremetinib, either taken continuously every day, or with planned treatment breaks in each 28 day cycle.

This study is recruiting in Edinburgh and Glasgow and will begin recruiting in Tayside soon.

Please read more here.


DANTE is a new randomised phase III trial to evaluate the Duration of ANti-PD1 monoclonal antibody Treatment in patients with metastatic mElanoma. It is for patients with advanced melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes. In simpler terms; it is a form of immunotherapy where treatment is given to switch on the body’s own defence mechanism to fight the cancer cells. Cancer cells can contain high levels of protein which stop the T cells from fighting infection. Checkpoint inhibitors such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab can switch off these proteins in order to stimulate the T cells into fighting the cancer cells. The objectives of the trial are to see if it stops the progression of the disease, assess the tumour’s response to the treatment and look at overall survival rates.

The trial will be recruiting soon in Grampian, Tayside, and Greater Glasgow & Clyde regions.

For more information on Immunotherapy please click here.