Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Answers About Clinical Trials
What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer.
Why do you conduct these trials?
Clinical trials are conducted by physicians, or other medical personnel, to evaluate safety and effectiveness of a particular intervention – typically a treatment, prevention, or detection strategy for a disease.
Who participates in these trials?
The majority of children newly diagnosed with cancer are enrolled on clinical trials. Clinical trials are conducted by physicians, or other medical personnel, to evaluate safety and effectiveness of a particular intervention – typically a treatment, prevention, or detection strategy for a disease.
Who will take care of my child?
Patients enrolled on clinical trials are followed closely by both their individual physicians as well as the investigators in charge of the trial.
Why would I want my child to be involved?
Participants receive high-quality cancer care -- and will be among the first to benefit if a new approach is proven to work. As a result in large part of enrolling most children with cancer on clinical trials, the cure rate from childhood cancer, which was dismal 30 years ago, is now about 70%.
How do you decide who will be eligible to participate?
Each study has its own guidelines for who can participate. Typically, participants share key factors - such as the type and stage of cancer.
Are all trials the same?
The seven major types of trials are: Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Pilot, Biological, Epidemiological and Quality of Life (QOL). Your doctor will provide full information about the type of trial appropriate for your child.
What are the risks?
Before your child enters a trial you will experience a process called informed consent to learn about a study's treatments and tests, and their possible benefits and risks, to help you decide whether or not to have your child participate.
Will my insurance cover these costs?
Health plans and managed care providers do not always cover all patient care costs in a study. What they cover varies by plan and by study. Staff members from the study can help you determine in advance what costs are covered.