Healthcare professionals

Unicancer care and research

Your page

Find a Center

Retrouvez les Centres de lutte contre le cancer sur l'ensemble du territoire

La recherche

Unicancer research

Find out more

Clinical Research

The French Comprehensive Cancer Centers (FCCCs) offer treatment but are also research Centers, especially clinical research. Clinical trials, which include 18% of of Unicancer network patients, contribute to innovations in patient management and cancer treatments.


Performance and innovation that benefit patients

Unicancer is committed to having patients benefit as quickly as possible from therapeutic innovations, particularly in terms of scientific advancements resulting from the exchanges between the care and research teams.
Research in the Unicancer network includes fundamental research, clinical research, translational research and human and social sciences research.

Find out more about Unicancer research


Clinical research

Clinical trials in oncology aim to evaluate new cancer treatments in terms of efficacy and tolerance.
At a time when personalised medicine is developing in the field of cancer, clinical trials help give patients access to innovative therapies and help in the advancement of cancer treatments in all areas (new drugs, surgery, radiation, imaging, etc.).

The different phases of clinical trials

After the research phases in the laboratory (pre-clinical phase), which help evaluate a particular treatment’s activity and toxicity, researchers then begin clinical trials, i.e. in humans. To guarantee patient safety, clinical trials are carried out in several phases that help gather specific information on the treatment being tested.

  • Phase I trials evaluate the body’s tolerance of a treatment with a view to establishing the recommended dosage. This step is carried out on a small panel of patients.
  • Phase II trials evaluate the efficacy of a treatment. The number of patients included is a bit higher.
  • Phase III trials aim to compare the new treatment with the ‘reference’ treatment. A large number of patients are included in these trials to evaluate the medical service rendered (MSR). If the results are positive, the treatment will undergo a request for market authorisation (MA) to then be commercialised.
  • Phase IV trials take place once the treatment is commercialised to have a wider view on it, particularly in terms of tolerance within a large patient pool.


Why participate in a clinical trial?

Cancer research has advanced considerably in the last few years, but much progress still needs to be made. Patient participation in clinical trials is essential for discovering new treatments and for the evolution of patient management strategies.

Participating in a clinical trial means the possibility of having access to innovative treatment while benefiting from more frequent follow-up due to the needs of the study. It also means being an active participant in research because the information collected by the trial could benefit all patients with the same kind of cancer.


Patient committees

As the patient is considered to be a participant and partner in the clinical research that s/he is participating in, the French Federation of Comprehensive Cancer Centers have implemented patient committees in clinical cancer research, in partnership with the Ligue nationale contre le cancer (National Anti-Cancer League).
These committees, which are made up of patients and loved ones, aim to humanise clinical trials, improve the quality of information given to patients before participating in a trial and suggest evolutions in practices to improve patient comfort.

Find out more about patient committees