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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 Be Part of Research platform 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.




Bowel cancer, or colorectal cancer, is a cancer that starts in the colon (large bowel) or back passage (rectum).

It is more common in people over 50 but can affect all ages. 26,000 people in Scotland currently have bowel cancer, if diagnosed early enough it is treatable and survivable.

Symptoms to look out for are: blood in your stools, unexplained changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness and a pain or lump in your abdomen. If you have any of these, please see your GP.

For further information on bowel cancer please visit Cancer Research UK

Support and information is also available at Bowel Cancer UK


Trial Spotlight


The results of previous research into using aspirin to prevent heart attacks or strokes has suggested that people who take aspirin regularly are less likely to develop cancer and if they do it is also less likely to spread. This study investigates if taking a dose of aspirin can prevent cancer returning after a patient has had treatment. It compares different doses of aspirin against a placebo to find out what the correct dose may be to prevent the cancer returning. The study will also look at the side effects and the health benefits of taking aspirin.

This study is recruiting in many hospitals in Scotland, including Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.

Further information on the trial can be found here



SOCCS3 is the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Genetic Susceptibility Study 3.  This aims to find out what the genetic basis of cancer is in the large bowel by looking at blood and tumour samples as well as lifestyle data from patients.  It will look at genes and genetic factors to ascertain whether certain people are more at risk of developing bowel cancer.

This study aims to recruit 10,000 people across Scotland and is open in many locations, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

More information on SOCCS3 can be found here



Doctors want to understand if taking part in exercise before surgery aids the body’s ability to cope with surgery and post recovery. This study is investigating the benefits of exercise between diagnosis of colorectal cancer and recovery after surgery to remove the cancer.

Patients will either have standard care or partake in exercise in hospital or at home.

The study is currently recruiting in Edinburgh and Inverness.

Further study information can be found here



This trial is for people with early stage cancer of the back passage (rectum). The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and how far it’s spread and helps your doctor decide which treatment you need. 

This study is currently recruiting in Dundee.

More information on the study can be found here



This study is looking at the genes of people under 40 with bowel cancer and comparing them with their parent’s genes to see if this can help identify which changes cause bowel cancer. These samples will be analysed using a technique called ‘Next Generation Sequencing’ (NGS).

This study is currently recruiting in hospitals around Scotland.

Further study information can be found here