What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a research study that seeks to improve upon the currently used best-known treatment. It is done to see if a new treatment is safe and if it works better in treating cancer than the current approach. Clinical trials take place in a clinic or hospital. Most children diagnosed with cancer who are eligible and provide consent to take part, are treated on a clinical trial. If your child participates in a clinical trial, he or she receives certain treatment interventions and are monitored closely over time following treatment.
What is a cooperative research group?
Cooperative research groups share a common purpose—to develop and conduct large-scale clinical trials in participating institutions from around the country. Cooperative groups include researchers, cancer centers, and community physicians throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. They work to identify important questions in cancer research and to design clinical trials to answer these questions.
Why does Children’s participate in cooperative research groups?
Researchers evaluate the treatment results for a large group of participants to see if the care is improved and if side effects are reduced. New research trials are planned based on results of past trials. Clinical trials may also be set up to look at how to prevent cancer or how to improve comfort or quality of life. This type of study is called supportive care research.
Cooperative research groups allow patients to enroll in clinical trials being performed around the U.S. and give the Children’s team instant access to information about what’s working during clinical trials, so protocols can be constantly improved. At Children’s of Minnesota, we belong to national and international research cooperatives dedicated to improving care for children with cancer and finding a cure.
Children’s is one of the most active participants in the nation in the number of patients enrolled in clinical trials, which results in rapid deployment of new information.