Throughout the trial, you will undergo tests to ensure your safety and well-being, and also to check how your cancer is responding to the treatment. There is some information about the most common tests below.
Some trials may require additional tests, such as urine samples, scans or biopsies (samples of tissue). If you need these extra tests, the research team will give you more information about these, and what is involved, when you start the trial.
Other imaging, such as X-rays and ultrasounds, is usually carried out on the 2nd floor of Tower Wing at Guy's Hospital. If it is in another location, your team will let you know.
If you do take part in a trial, it is possible that you will have a number of blood tests. The team may need to test your blood regularly to make sure you are well enough to receive treatment and to monitor any potential side effects. Depending on the type of test you need, you may receive your results within just a few minutes, or it may take longer.
Your blood test will be carried out by a member of staff who is specially trained to take blood. If you have a permanent fitted device (piccline or portha cath) in your arm or chest for blood/treatment, let the receptionist know so that they can make sure that your blood tests are carried out by a nurse. More information about our blood test service.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that checks the activity of your heart. It is painless and non-invasive. If you need an ECG, you may be able to have it done in your regular clinic, by a member of your research team. Otherwise, you may need to go to the cardiac outpatients department, at either Guy’s Hospital or St Thomas’ Hospital. Check with your research team to see which hospital you need to attend as you will not receive a letter for this appointment.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans are used to see soft tissue inside the body that does not show up on X-rays. It is a painless procedure that usually lasts between 15 and 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned and the number of images taken.
The scanner itself takes the form of a short cylinder that is open at both ends. You will lie on a motorised bed that moves through the scanner. The scanner will make very loud tapping noises at certain times during the procedure. To help you relax, you will be given headphones with a choice of music.
The MRI scanner at Guy’s Hospital is on the 2nd floor of Tower Wing. More information about our MRI service.
A computerised tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body. The images produced by a CT scan are more detailed than standard X-rays.
During a CT scan, you will usually lie on your back on a flat bed. The CT scanner consists of an X-ray tube that rotates around your body. You will usually be moved continuously through this rotating beam. The scan is painless and will usually take between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on which part of your body is being scanned.
The CT scanner at Guy’s Hospital is on the 3rd floor of Tower Wing. More information about having a CT scan.
A biopsy involves taking a sample of your tissue so it can be examined in a laboratory. You may be asked to sign a separate consent form for use of your tissue samples in a clinical trial.