Our Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) at Phoenix Children's is committed to providing the best possible care for our patients. To do that, we must be on the forefront of clinical research. Having clinical trials available is integral to the care of our patients and is crucial to providing the best chance of cure.
Our Clinical Research Program at the CCBD is a comprehensive program covering a wide spectrum of cancer types.
There are currently 182 open clinical trials available for patients with leukemias, lymphomas, solid tumors, brain tumors, multiple rare cancers and cancer-like disorders.
Several of our team members are national leaders in managing and developing new treatments for many of these diseases.
Some of these trials provide the standard of care treatments for newly-diagnosed patients, giving them the best chance of cure from the moment they are diagnosed. Others give patients who have not responded to therapy or whose cancers have returned following standard therapy, the newest, most promising agents available.
Phoenix Children's is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a consortium of over 200 members in the U.S. and several other countries, including Canada and Australia. The group works collaboratively to treat children with cancer. Studies have shown that children who are enrolled on clinical trials do better overall.
Ultimately, the goal of our clinical research program is to provide the best possible treatments to cure as many of our patients as possible now while investigating new agents so that we can cure all our patients in the future.
Clinical Trials for Children with Cancer
Throughout the last 30 years, the survival rate for children affected by cancer has dramatically improved due to the availability of new, more effective drugs and treatment regimens, new techniques such as bone marrow transplantation, and improvements in supportive care measures, including antibiotics and transfusion support.
However, the single biggest reason for success in the battle against childhood cancer has been the long-standing and widespread participation of childhood cancer patients in clinical trials. A clinical trial is a treatment protocol which combines state-of-the-art treatment with clinical, or patient-oriented, research.
Studies have demonstrated that childhood cancer patients participating in clinical trials have, in general, better outcomes than patients who do not participate in such studies.
Phoenix Children's, recognizing the importance of clinical trials in identifying more effective treatments for children with oncologic diseases, participates in national and international clinical trials for children. Increasing the number of children participating in well-designed clinical trials will lead to more rigorous and more rapid evaluation of promising new treatments.
In addition to clinical trials originating at Phoenix Children's, we collaborate with many academic and industry sponsors. These include multiple pediatric cancer research consortia.
Using these vast resources, our mission is to give the children of Arizona the most promising treatments currently available for their disease while developing innovative and more effective ways of curing children with cancer in the future.
Research provides patients with the best, most up-to-date treatments for their illnesses while evaluating new treatments to help future children. At Phoenix Children's, this translates into cutting edge care and access to the most promising new options.
Phoenix Children's also collaborates with a number of local, national and international partners, sharing data with institutions worldwide in the search of the best treatments and cures. These include major national and international universities and research institutes along with the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and major Foundations such as St. Baldricks, Alex's Lemonade Stand, CureSearch and Hyundai. There are also collaborations with a wide range of pharmaceutical and bioinformatic companies.
Early Drug Development in Pediatric Cancer
Our team developed a comprehensive Early Drug Development Program for patients who have no good treatment options or have not responded to standard therapy.
Phase I and II trials are available through this program, representing the early development of some of the most promising agents available.
These trials give our patients access to these newest treatment agents, without having to travel to other centers within Arizona or out-of-state. Phoenix Children's is the only center in the Southwest tri-state region (Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada) to offer phase I pediatric oncology trials. Families from outside the state and country have been referred to our program to receive these treatments.
Early Drug Development Team
The Early Drug Development Program is made up of an eight-member team including a clinical research coordinator, two research nurses and five physician-investigators representing the Liquid Tumor, Solid Tumor and Neuro-Oncology teams.
The program’s clinical trials come from many different sources. These include trials initiated at Phoenix Children’s, as well as those performed in collaboration with many academic and industry partners, providing the newest, most promising agents for our patients.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital consortia memberships include:
Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators’ Consortium, an elite consortium made up of nine major pediatric oncology centers in the U.S. and one in Canada. POETIC is devoted to cutting-edge phase I and II clinical trials with incorporated, correlative science.
Beat Childhood Cancer, a group of 25 U.S. institutions devoted to phase I clinical trials in solid tumors, with an emphasis on neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.
North American Consortium for Histiocytosis, a group 34 North American institutions dedicated to developing a research infrastructure to effectively implement clinical and translational studies and conduct biological research of histiocytic diseases.
Clinical trials are research studies 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. Participants receive high-quality hematological care -- and will be among the first to benefit if a new approach is proven to work.