A strong commitment to clinical research
Sixty years ago, children diagnosed with leukemia had only a slim chance of survival. Today, the survival rate for childhood leukemia is 96-98 percent. Forty years ago, the average lifespan for people with sickle cell disease was only 14 years. Today, life expectancy for these patients can reach 50 years and beyond. What accounts for these dramatic improvements? To a large extent, the answer is clinical research.
Clinical research studies, or “trials,” are designed to help scientists evaluate specific treatment plans. These trials are sponsored by different hospitals, companies and government agencies, and made available to patients who fit certain criteria. At Dayton Children’s, we strongly encourage families to consider participating in clinical research for childhood cancers and blood disorders. We know that the therapies children receive through these studies may benefit them today—and countless children in years to come.
Pediatric cancer research
Dayton Children’s is part of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world's largest organization devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research. More than 250 hospitals around the world participate in COG. Our partnership with COG allows us to offer our patients the same Phase 2, 3 and 4 trials that are available at large academic medical centers. These types of trials evaluate the effectiveness and safety of therapies that have been previously tested.
Phase 1 studies test new therapies, and typically are offered to patients whose cancer has returned or is in an advanced stage. If patients are interested in a Phase 1 study, we can help enroll them at Cincinnati Children’s through an organization called the Advanced Cancer Therapy Network.
Blood diseases research
Dayton Children’s participates in clinical studies for sickle cell disease and hemophilia. Children who fit the selection criteria are invited to participate in these studies, some of which are initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and others by our own team.
Frequently asked questions
Deciding whether to participate in a research study is a big step, and we want to help you make the best decision for your family. Here are some common questions that the cancer and blood diseases team is asked about research participation. Please talk to your doctor if you have additional questions!
- What is the purpose of pediatric research?
- How do I find out what research studies are available?
- How do I enroll my child in a study?
What is the purpose of pediatric research? The purpose of pediatric research is to make new discoveries that will improve the lives of children who have diseases such as cancer, sickle cell anemia and hemophilia. Some studies focus on curing disease or preventing recurence, others on minimizing side effects or long-term effects of treatment.
How do I find out what research studies are available? Dayton Children’s offers about 60 research studies for pediatric cancer and blood diseases, and each one has specific eligibility criteria. For example, some studies are for children with a certain type of cancer, or for siblings who have sickle cell anemia, or for children whose cancer has returned. Your doctor will talk to you about what studies are available to your child and explain what each one would involve. All children who are eligible for a research study are given an opportunity to participate, but participation is voluntary.
How do I enroll my child in a study? If you decide to enroll your child in a study, our team will explain what the study will involve and help you complete any necessary paperwork. Our care team will communicate with your insurance company and ask for preapproval, if necessary. Activities related to the research study will take place at Dayton Children’s, unless a patient is participating in a Phase 1 study at a different institution.
Families do not pay “extra” to participate in clinical research, nor do they receive financial compensation for their participation.
A physician referral is necessary prior to the child’s first outpatient visit. All follow up appointments will be made during your clinic visit or by calling central scheduling.
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