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Questions to Ask the Research Team

These tips might help when you and your child meet with the doctor or other members of the research team:

  • Take a family member or friend along for support and for help in asking questions or recording answers.
  • Plan what you want to ask ahead of time.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask new questions that you think of while you are there.
  • Write down your questions in advance to make sure you remember to ask them all.
  • Write down the answers so you can review them whenever you want.
Pathologist and pediatric cancer researcher views histology slide of a cells from a childhood cancer patient. 

Scientists and doctors are always looking for better treatments with fewer side effects.

Questions about the clinical trial

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Why do researchers think this treatment may work?
  • What other related research has been done with these types of treatments?
  • Who is providing the funding for this research?
  • Who has reviewed and approved the study?
  • How is the study monitored for results and safety?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What will I be responsible for if my child takes part?
  • What if we decide we don’t want to continue the trial after the study begins?
  • How will the results be reported?
  • What information is shared, and how is information kept confidential?

Questions about possible risks and benefits

  • What are the possible short-term benefits?
  • What are the possible long-term benefits?
  • What are the short-term risks, such as side effects?
  • What are the possible long-term risks?
  • What other treatment options are available if we choose not to participate?
  • How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare with those other treatment options?

Questions about taking part in a clinical trial and the medical care

  • What kinds of therapies, procedures and tests will my child have during the trial?
  • Will they cause pain, and if so, for how long?
  • How do the tests in the study compare with those my child would have if my child did not take part in the trial?
  • Will my child be able to take his or her regular medicines or other treatments while in the clinical trial?
  • Where will my child have his or her medical care?
  • Who will be in charge of my child’s care during the trial?

Questions about personal issues

  • How could being in this study affect my child's daily life?
  • Can I talk to the parents of other children in the study?

Questions about cost issues

  • Will I have to pay for any part of the trial such as tests or the study drug? If so, what are the charges likely to be?
  • What is my health insurance likely to cover?
  • Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company or health plan?
  • Will there be any travel or child care costs that I need to consider during the trial?

Reviewed: June 2018