About Early Phase Trials


What to expect in a Phase 1 trial

Phase 1 trials are usually small, recruiting only a few patients. They may be open to patients with any type of cancer. They may take quite a long time to complete.

Read more about our current recruiting trials

When laboratory testing shows a new treatment might help treat cancer, Phase 1 trials are performed to find out:

  • the safe dose range
  • whether there are adverse effects
  • how the body copes with the treatment
  • whether the treatment shows any effect on the cancer.

In a Phase 1 trial, you may have more blood tests so that our investigators can monitor how the treatment is affecting you. They also look at how your body copes with, and gets rid of, the treatment. Any adverse effects are recorded.

What to expect in a Phase 2 trial

Not all treatments tested at Phase 1 will progress to Phase 2.

Phase 2 trials aim to find out:

  • more about adverse effects and how to manage them
  • more about the best dose
  • safety of the new treatment and possibly combinations of treatments and how they affect your body
  • if the new treatment works well enough to test in a larger Phase 3 trial

Phase 2 trials are often larger than Phase 1 trials.

Sometimes in a Phase 2 trial, a new treatment is compared with one already in use. If the Phase 2 trial shows a new treatment may be as good as, or better than, an existing treatment, it moves into Phase 3.

While these treatments have been tested in Phase 1 trials, you can still have adverse effects the investigators don’t know about. Treatments affect patients in different ways.

To be part of a trial, contact your specialist to discuss whether you can be referred to ACTC.