Search for a clinical trial

The system will search for clinical trials from two main sources: the ClinicalTrials.gov register; and the ISRCTN register.

If you find a trial you’re interested in ­– and which is currently recruiting people to take part – you can then contact the trial coordinator to register your interest.

How to use the trial search

The UKCTG trials search is simple to use. Within the search menu, all you need do is type your search terms into the box on the left, and your location into the box on your right. The system should then find relevant trials near you.

The system will search on a huge range of features of a trial – from health conditions to drug names to the organisations who fund the trial.

When you’ve finished, you can sort your results by distance, title, relevance and how recently the trial was updated. 

Improving your search results

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, here are a few tips on improving your search results: 

Search for phrases as well as words: If you want to search for a specific phrase of two words or more, you can use double quotation marks around your search term.

Try similar search terms: Experiment with words with a similar meaning to your original words, such as ‘cardiac’ instead of ‘heart’. The medical dictionary from NHS Choices may help you. 

Use filters to refine results: If you want to narrow your results, you can filter them by sex, trial status (see below for an explanation of what this means), health condition, and how long ago a trial was last updated.

Check your typing: Unlike many commercial search engines, our system doesn’t provide suggestions when you mistype a search term, so be careful with spellings: a mistyped word can alter your results.

Use wildcards: If you’re familiar with wildcard searches, you can use these in our search engine. You simply use the asterisk symbol (*), to specify part of a word. For example, to search for all words beginning with ‘cardi’ (including cardiac, cardiology and cardiologist), you might search for cardi*. 

What we mean by ‘trial status’

When you see your search results, you’ll notice that we tell you the status of each clinical trial. The four statuses are ‘not recruiting’, ‘recruiting’, ‘completed’ or ‘stopped’.

Here’s what these terms may mean:

Not recruiting: this could mean that people are not yet being taken on, or that the study is already under way and new participants are not being enrolled

Recruiting: this could mean either that participants are currently being recruited, or that they are being (or will be) selected from a predetermined population.

Completed: this indicates that the study has ended normally and participants are no longer being examined or treated.

Stopped: this suggests that the process of recruiting or enrolling participants has ceased prematurely (in which case it may or may not resume); or that the study itself has stopped prematurely, before the first participant has enrolled.

Duplicate results

Trials may be listed in more than one of the source registers from which we create our database. This means you could find two records referring to the same trial in your search results. We apologise if this is confusing.