Joining a clinical trial means that you and your child can contribute to better scientific understanding of your child’s type of cancer, and help to develop better treatments for all children with that type of cancer.
New treatments have to go through very strict processes of regulation and ethics approval before they can be used in a clinical trial. If the trial shows that the new treatment is better than the current treatment, the new treatment might become the standard of care for children with that type of cancer.
Being part of a clinical trial may or may not directly benefit your child. If they receive a new test or treatment that works well, they will be the first to benefit from the new approach. But some unforeseen side effects, or a poor response to the test or treatment cannot be ruled out.
Taking part in a clinical trial might involve more tests and hospital visits than the usual care. But trials are often run in the best-resourced hospitals, and participants receive very close monitoring by a specialist medical team.
The results of clinical trials today will help children with cancer in the future.