About Clinical Trials in Hematology and Oncology
The majority of children newly diagnosed with cancer are enrolled on clinical trials. Clinical trials are conducted by physicians, or other medical personnel, to evaluate safety and effectiveness of a particular intervention – typically a treatment, prevention, or detection strategy for a disease.
Patients enrolled on clinical trials are followed closely by both their individual physicians as well as the investigators in charge of the trial. Research protocols, written by experts in that particular disease based upon results of previous clinical trials or other studies, also provide a standard treatment outline for all pediatric oncologists to follow. As a result in large part of enrolling most children with cancer on clinical trials, the cure rate from childhood cancer, which was dismal 30 years ago, is now about 75%.
Though a marked improvement, this is still not good enough. Therefore, clinical trials, in addition to providing the best in available pediatric oncology care, continue to be integral to improving old strategies as well as developing new medicines and other innovative approaches to children with cancer.