Emotions and feelings

Should my child take part in a trial?

Your child's medical team will talk to you about taking part in a clinical trial and will answer any questions you have.

Taking part is completely voluntary and you will be given plenty of time to decide if it is right for your child. You can also join a trial, and then withdraw if you change your mind at a later date.

Is it safe?

The safety of patients in clinical trials is of the utmost importance. All trial protocols are reviewed and approved by ethics and regulatory committees. All trials are reviewed on an ongoing basis. If there are any concerns about the safety or efffectiveness of the treatment, the trial may be stopped. It is very rare that this would happen.

What are the benefits of taking part in a clinical trial?

  • Your child may receive a new treatment that is only available in a trial
  • Your treatment will be the same wherever you live in the country
  • Experts in your child's particular tumour type will have worked together to develop the trial protocol
  • Emphasis on patient safety and your child will be monitored closely
  • Sometimes there may be no direct benefit for you or your child but the results of the trial may help doctors to improve cancer treatments for future patients.

What are the disadvantages of taking part in a clinical trial?

  • You may have to make more hospital visits
  • You may have more tests carried out
  • The new treatment, although expected to be better, may not actually be better
  • You may experience side effects that you or your doctor are not expecting, but you will be closely monitored for these.