Clinical trials and how treatments are developed Infoguide

If you are a myeloma patient, there are many more treatment options available to you now than in the past, even at later lines of treatment. As well as the treatments widely available on the National Health Service (NHS), there are also many promising treatments in the pipeline, being tested in clinical trials.

This Infoguide explains how new treatments for myeloma are developed and how the clinical trial process works. There is practical information about what is involved in taking part in a clinical trial, and some things to consider if you are thinking about joining one. There are also sections about how new treatments are authorised for treatment of myeloma, and eventually approved for use on the NHS.

This Infoguide covers key topics about clinical trials and how treatments are developed, including:

  • The stages in developing a new treatment
  • Treatment discovery
  • Clinical trial phases
  • Taking part in a clinical trial, what is involved, and things to consider
  • Myeloma research
  • Treatment licensing
  • Approving treatments for use on the NHS
  • The patient’s voice in treatment approval
  • Accessing treatments before approval

Key points you can read about in this Infoguide include:  

  • Only a small percentage of treatments make it all the way from the laboratory bench to being approved for use on the NHS, and the complete process can take over ten years
  • The development of new myeloma treatments includes treatment discovery, laboratory testing, clinical trials, licensing and approval
  • Research is constantly being done into the way myeloma cells work and how they can be attacked
  • A clinical trial of a myeloma treatment involves a group of patients receiving the treatment or combination under carefully controlled conditions, and being closely monitored for side effects and/or effectiveness of the treatment
  • There are different phases of clinical trials, which have different aims and designs
  • Not every clinical trial is suitable for every patient, but clinical trials may enable you to access new treatments not yet available on the NHS
  • You can get information about clinical trials from your healthcare team. You can also contact the Myeloma Infoline, and access the Myeloma UK Trial Finder
  • Before a treatment can be widely used, it must first be licensed as safe and effective
  • The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) licenses treatments in the UK
  • After a treatment has been licensed, the final stage is approval for use on the NHS in the UK
  • Treatment approval is done by different bodies in the UK, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC)
  • Patient involvement is key in the treatment approval process
  • There are several possible routes for access to treatments that have not yet been approved for use on the NHS

Clinical trials and how treatments are developed Infoguide

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