Clinical trials are research studies that test whether a new medicine, device or treatment is safe and effective. Many children, adolescents and young adults with various conditions travel from all over the world to take part in research studies of new investigational options only available through our clinical trials. Our researchers work relentlessly to discover innovative solutions for many of the barriers that our patients face. The knowledge gained through research influences the innovative care we give all our patients at Seattle Children’s.
Clinical research helps doctors and researchers find new and better ways to understand, detect, control and treat illness and other medical conditions. Clinical research involves carefully planned studies that people volunteer to take part in. They help researchers learn more about health and find new medications and treatments. There are 2 main types of studies:
Before a new medication or treatment can become a standard practice of care it must go through research phases.
Each research phase must:
It is useful to know what phase the study is in to help you understand the goals of the research. A person from the research team will be able to tell you this information.
Safety is our main priority at Seattle Children’s. All studies follow strict regulations and guidelines:
Before your child joins a study, the research team will explain any risks of participating. The potential risks and potential benefits are listed on the consent and assent documents that you and your child will review with someone from the research team before joining a study.
Taking part in research can look a lot like the regular medical care your child receives at a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital. Sometimes doctors also do research. It is important to talk with your doctor and the research team about the differences between the research and your child’s regular medical care.
In medical care, the doctor or your care team develops a plan of care tailored for your child.
When your child takes part in a study, the research team follows a set plan called a study protocol. The goal of research is to add to medical knowledge that might lead to improved treatments for children in the future. Your child might or might not benefit directly from being in a research study.
Learn more on the How to Participate in a Research Study page.
Every study has a lead researcher called a principal investigator (PI), who is often a medical doctor. They oversee the research study. Some studies also have a research team that might include doctors, nurses, social workers, research coordinators and other healthcare professionals. The PI and research team closely monitor a participant’s health throughout the study.
Being in a study is voluntary. Your child can stop participating in a study at any time without it affecting your regular medical care at Seattle Children’s.
You might be asked to fill out a survey to share why you decided to stop taking part in the study. Filling out the survey is voluntary.
We understand there’s a lot to consider when searching for the right clinical trial. That’s why we’re here to keep you informed and help however we can.
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