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Cancer Research in Scotland

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.




Prostate cancer

The prostate is a small gland at the base of the bladder. It is about the size of a walnut but gets bigger as men age. The prostate surrounds the first part of the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The same tube also carries semen, the fluid containing sperm. Most cancers in the prostate develop slowly and men may not have any symptoms for a long time. There are various ways to treat the cancer; chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy and surgery. 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and in 2015 affected around 47,200 men in the UK.

Further information can be found on the Cancer Research UK website and Prostate 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 less likely to spread. This study investigates if taking a dose of aspirin can prevent cancer coming back after a patient has had treatment.

The study will compare different doses of aspirin against a placebo to find out what the correct dose may be to prevent the cancer returning and also looks at the side effects and health benefits of taking aspirin.

This study is recruiting in many hospitals in Scotland.



This study is looking at giving all patients hormone therapy as standard in connection with other treatments such as chemotherapy, metformin or an oestradiol patch to see which provides the best results. Some arms of the study have already closed and the results have been published. 

The study is recruiting in hospitals in Inverness, Edinburgh, Ayr, Glasgow and Forth Valley.


UKGCPS – UK Genetic Prostate Cancer Study

This study is recruiting patients throughout the UK and is looking at the genetic causes of prostate cancer. The study aims to recruit younger men who have a family history of prostate cancer (either a father or brother).  It may be possible in the future to use this knowledge firstly to screen other family members to see if they are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer and also to develop new treatments for the future.

The study is recruiting at locations around Scotland.



This trial is to find out if having radiotherapy to the lymph nodes in the pelvis as well as the prostate, improves treatment for prostate cancer. It is also to see if extra boosts of radiotherapy to the prostate is a useful treatment.

It is for men with a medium to high risk of their cancer returning.

The study is recruiting in hospitals in Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and soon to open in Edinburgh.



A clinical research study to investigate whether the addition of a new medication (darolutamide) to standard treatment is better for improving the outcomes for men with localised prostate cancer compared to standard treatment.

The study is recruiting in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.


Ovarian cancer

Ovarian Cancer is one of a number of gynaecological cancers affecting women and occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, and eventually form a growth (tumour).

Around 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year. This makes ovarian cancer the 6th most common cancer in women. Of these, 53% of those woman are over 65.

Find more information on ovarian cancer on the Cancer Research UK website and the Target Ovarian Cancer website


Trial Spotlight


This study is looking at preventing ovarian cancer in women at increased risk by removing the fallopian tubes first and then the ovaries at a later date.

Currently recruiting in Aberdeen and Dundee.



This trial is looking at long term treatment with 2 drugs called olaparib and cediranib for women whose ovarian cancer has started to grow again. It is for women whose cancer shrunk after their first course of chemotherapy. And they are having a second course.

Currently recruiting in Dundee and Edinburgh.