Taking part in clinical research

Patients have a very important part to play in research. Over a million people take part in studies and trials in the UK each year. Without them we would not have the treatments we have today and new and improved treatments would not be possible.

Why should I get involved?

By being involved in research you can:

  • access new treatments through being on a clinical trial.
  • ensure that the patient's point of view is heard when research is being planned, carried out and reported.
  • help improve treatments and quality of life, now and for your children and grandchildren.
  • take an active role in your own care.

If that sounds like something you would like to do, what should you do next?

Learn more about opportunities

Opportunities to volunteer for clinical trials or be part of research in other ways occur regularly. The Macular Society is being approached all the time to help researchers recruit patients to test new treatments or because they want to hear the patient's point of view to improve their research.

Age is not a barrier, as trials rarely have an upper age limit for participants. You will normally have to have a number of tests first, to check that you meet the criteria which are set for each trial. These usually relate to your health and degree of sight loss. This process is called screening.

If you meet the criteria, you will be invited to take part in the trial. All the information you need to make a decision on whether you wish to go ahead will be provided, such as the benefits and risks to you and how many hospital visits will be required. This is called the consenting process and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions. You will not be rushed to make up your mind.

Here is a short video about how hospitals are operating to make taking part in clinical research safe for patients.

What trials are underway in the UK?

To explore what trials are underway in the UK at the moment on macular disease go to the NHS website Be Part of Research. It is aimed at patients and has lots of information on how clinical research is carried out.

We also publicise opportunities in our member magazine Sideview or on our website and social media.

Key trials underway at the moment in the UK and across the world:


FOCUS - gene therapy for dry AMD
PINNACLE - improving our understanding of AMD progression
FENETRE - community care in wet AMD
LIGHTSITE - Valeda Light Delivery system for dry AMD
MONARCH - home vision monitoring
OAKS - APL-2 for dry AMD
ARCHWAY - port delivery system for wet AMD
GATHER - Zimura for dry AMD

Stargardt disease

STARTT - remofuscin

Want to hear direct about opportunities?

Sign up with the Macular Society to hear about clinical trials you might be eligible to take part in

Further information on patient and public involvement in research can be found on the INVOLVE website. INVOLVE supports active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.