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Pediatric Clinical Trials

The purpose of a clinical trial is to find a better way to prevent, diagnose or treat a disease. Clinical trials are part of an ongoing, careful research process. It is through this continual process that new treatments have improved cure rates and decreased toxicity for patients with many forms of cancer.

Types of Clinical Trials

When you are offered to participate in a clinical trial, your doctor has decided that the best treatment for your condition is provided in that trial. Some trials test whether a new treatment is safe to give to patients (Phase I). Others seek to determine how effective a new treatment will be (Phase II). Finally, the largest trials make direct comparisons between two similar treatment options, to determine which option is better (Phase III). All three types of trials provide critical information to help us improve cancer care. Many standard treatments today are based on the results of previous clinical trials.

Video: Your Child in a Clinical Study Created by the National Institutes of Health

Why Participate in a Clinical Trial?

Participating in clinical trials is voluntary. You can choose to stop participating in a clinical trial at any time. Your doctors and nurses want to give you the very best chance for cure. If your treatment is no longer the best option for you, both you and your doctor will discuss other options. If you decline to participate on a clinical trial, your doctor and medical team will still take the very best care of you. You will be offered the standard-of-care therapy, which is the best known treatment at that time.

The Children's Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson, through its Pediatric New Agents Program, is at the forefront of developing innovative treatments for a wide range of pediatric cancers and moving them from the lab to the clinic for maximum benefit to young patients.

How Can My Child Participate?

Browse our list of pediatric clinical trials to see if your child may be eligible

Search our clinical trials database by entering a cancer type, treatment, doctor's name or study number below:


To learn more about how clinical trials work, how to choose them, what to ask your doctor or how to find trials outside of MD Anderson, visit our clinical trials Web site.

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