You may have had to make a lot of decisions since you've been told your child has cancer. One of the most important decisions you will make is deciding which treatment is best for your child. You may have heard about clinical trials being done for his or her type of cancer. Or maybe someone on your health care team has mentioned a clinical trial to you.
Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done with patients who volunteer for them. They are done to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures.
If you would like to find out more about clinical trials, you should start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital takes part in clinical trials. You can also call our clinical trials matching service for a list of clinical trials that meet your child's medical needs. You can reach this service at 1-800-303-5691 or on our Web site at www.cancer.org/clinicaltrials. You can also get a list of current clinical trials by calling the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or by visiting the NCI clinical trials Web site at www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials.
There are requirements that must be met to take part in any clinical trial. If your child qualifies for a clinical trial, it is up to you whether or not to enter (enroll in) it.
Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art cancer treatment. Sometimes they may be the only way to get access to some newer treatments. They are also the only way for doctors to learn better methods to treat cancer. Still, they are not right for every child.
You can get a lot more information on clinical trials in our document called Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know. You can read it on our Web site or call our toll-free number (1-800-227-2345) and have it sent to you.
Last Revised: 08/01/2012