Over the last decade the number of cancer patients taking part in clinical trials has risen from one in every 26 patients diagnosed to around one in six, says Cancer Research UK (CRUK). 

The figures, presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference in Liverpool by the National Institute for Health Research’s National Cancer Research Network (NCRN), reinforce the UK’s position as world leader in the proportion of cancer patients recruited to clinical trials and research studies, CRUK notes.

In America, fewer than one in 20 cancer patients participate in clinical trials, it adds.

The original aim of the NCRN, which was set up in 2001, was to double the number of cancer patients taking part in clinical studies across England within five years. In fact, the network hit that target in three years.

The NCRN has supported more than 800 cancer research studies involving over 250,000 patients to date. Every National Health Service hospital and cancer across the country is now taking an active role in cancer research, CRUK says.