About Clinical Trials
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a type of research study that is done to answer important questions about medical care. In a clinical trial, investigators want to find out if a new method will work better than the current standard therapy. Researchers undertake clinical trials to improve future treatments for patients.
Why are research studies and clinical trials important?
This type of research has led to important discoveries that improve our lives. A few examples include:
- New drugs to treat cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases
- Ultrasound, X-ray machines, and diagnostic tests
- Improved medical procedures
Before volunteering to participate in a research study or clinical trial, remember:
- Participating in research is ALWAYS voluntary.
- You can ask to be removed from a study at any time.
- The study may or may not help you personally.
- The results of your study could help others with health problems.
- You can ask questions for clarification at any time.
Questions to ask about a research study or clinical trial
Note: Excerpts taken from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP),
- What exactly will happen to me in the research?
- Will there be any unpleasant side effects?
- What personal expenses are covered by the study?
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
If you are interested in participating in a clinical study this is not listed under the Multi-Center Studies or AsthMaP webpages of Children's National, please be sure to go www.ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the National Institutes of Health, where you can search for active clinical trials by typing Children's National Medical Center or CNMC.
If you have a concern about the science of a specific research study or clinical trial and the steps involved, you have the right to talk about it with the Principal Investigator of your child's study. If you have concerns about how the research is being done, or your rights as a research subject, you can talk to a professional who is independent of the research study (he/she is not part of the research study team) through the Director of Research Regulatory Affairs at 301-565-8488 or the Research Participant and Family Advocate, Tomas Silber, MD, at 202-476-3066. Please contact either to share questions or concerns, to learn more about a research subjects' rights, or to offer input on how research processes can work better.