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Because all patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplants at St. Jude are treated on research protocols, the hospital takes patient education and safety seriously. Before the treatment begins the patient and his or her family will meet with the transplant physician, a clinic nurse and a clinical research nurse to review the patient’s disease status and transplant treatment plan. This conference will include the reasons why the stem cell transplant is being undertaken; the risks and benefits of the research study and alternatives to the research trial.
Before a patient is enrolled on any study, the patient’s parent or guardian must give consent and sign an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved informed consent document. Children who are 8 years of age or older must provide assent. Patients will receive a copy of the signed informed consent document for their reference during the transplantation process.
While the patient receives therapy as part of the protocol, the clinical research nurse will track the patient’s progress during the study. St. Jude’s Institutional Review Board and federal agencies oversee all research studies. In addition, families may request a research participant advocate by calling (901) 595-4644.