Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to take part in St. Jude Life?
Before the study is over, we plan to send invitations to all 4,000 St. Jude alumni, former patients who received treatment at St. Jude during childhood.  

St. Jude Life is a large project, and it will take place over several years. Over the next few years, we plan to see 1,200 patients a year. In the beginning, the focus will be on former St. Jude patients who had leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma. This focus will later shift to those who had solid tumors involving the brain, kidney, bones, soft tissue, and other organs.

What are you trying to find out?

Since we opened our doors for the first time in 1962, you and other former St. Jude patients have been part of the greatest success stories of modern medicine. By taking part in research studies when you were a child, you have helped us beat most childhood cancers, most of the time. Success rates have gone from the single digits to today’s highs of 70%, 80%, and more for most types of childhood cancer.

Naturally, researchers won’t be happy until we hit the 100% mark for all types of childhood cancer. But we now have another goal: Finding ways to help you and other St. Jude alumni stay healthy throughout your adult lives. By taking part in St. Jude Life, you will help us learn more about the issues that affect your health, so that we can help you help you learn ways to stay on top of them.

What is the benefit of taking part?

By taking part in St. Jude Life, you will help us add to what is known about late effects of cancer treatment. Just as important, you will learn about your current health and ways to stay healthy.

What does the study consist of?

Before you return to St. Jude, we will mail you a consent form and health surveys to complete and mail back to us. When you return to campus, you will undergo the following:

  • Basic health exam
  • Blood tests, x‑ray exams, and other medical tests, depending on the type of treatment you received as a child
  • Functional exam (measurement of muscle strength and flexibility and overall physical performance, etc.)

Sometime during your visit, you will meet the clinical social worker. Before you leave, you will meet with the protocol coordinator to review the preliminary results of the exams. She will answer any questions you have at that time. After your visit, you will receive copies of test results so you can share them with your local doctors.

How much time will it take?

The typical visit is two or three days.

Will my expenses be paid?

If you live more than 300 miles away from St. Jude, you are eligible for airline tickets or repayment of your travel expenses. You will receive $150 per day for the days you are on campus undergoing tests. This is mailed to you after your visit is completed.

Who will make my travel arrangements?

The Patient Services Department will help you with your travel arrangements.

Where will I eat my meals?

You will receive a meal card for the new Kay Kafé, where you can choose from a variety of healthful foods.

Where will I stay while I am at St. Jude?

You will stay in one of the rooms in Tri Delta Place. All 100 rooms in this on‑site hotel are non‑smoking. Tri Delta Place is just across the parking lot from the building where most of the activities for St. Jude Life will take place. For your recreational needs, Tri Delta Place has an outdoor basketball court and playground and an indoor fitness room. Other features include a “den” with family reading materials, computer access, and video games.