Cancer diagnosis and treatment for children

Pediatric Cancer Clinical Trials

If your child has cancer, you want to go to a hospital that offers the latest and best treatments. Sometimes, the best option is a standard treatment that has been used for years. But often, the latest treatments for children with cancer may only be available through clinical trials. 

At Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, our physicians are leaders in pediatric cancer research. We are experts at finding the best treatments available for each child in our care.

What Are Clinical Trials?

A clinical trial is a research study that evaluates the safety and effectiveness of new medications and treatments. These studies give your child an opportunity to try new treatments that are not widely available.

Why Participate in Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are a standard part of cancer treatment for many children. Trials are important for children because treatments work differently in children than they do in adults. Children may need different medications or dosages to get good results.

We do extensive testing in the lab before we ever give your child a new treatment. Clinical trials are a key reason why children survive cancer at higher rates than adults. 

Cancer clinical trials for your child

Your doctor will explain all of the treatment options for your child, which may include a clinical trial. If you choose to enroll your child in a trial, nurse practitioners and nurse coordinators will help your family through the process.

Why Choose Siteman Kids for Clinical Trials?

The average pediatric cancer facility does not have the resources necessary to offer clinical trials for children. Hospitals need a sophisticated infrastructure and experienced staff to conduct clinical trials. 

At Siteman Kids, we have:

  • Advanced imaging, to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments
  • Clinical research pharmacists, who can safely and effectively provide new drug formulations to children
  • Experienced doctors and nurses, who specialize in treating specific cancers and recognizing rare side effects
  • Research staff, who know how to navigate complex computer databases and deliver the necessary data to assess how well treatments are working

Pediatric Cancer Research Partnerships

We develop and test new treatments in the hospital, and we participate in several national and international clinical research groups. Through these affiliations, we have access to the latest treatments tested throughout the country. 

Learn more about our clinical research affiliations for stem cell transplants.

School of Medicine research collaboration

The physicians at Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital are part of the Washington University School of Medicine. This top research community receives $700 million a year for new biomedical science. Our doctors work with WUSM’s laboratory scientists to advance pediatric cancer discoveries.

Our focus goes beyond cancer treatment. We conduct studies evaluating the quality and safety of the care we deliver, and we research methods for preventing infections in children with cancer. 

Children’s Oncology Group

St. Louis Children’s Hospital is part of the Children’s Oncology Group, a worldwide consortium of over 200 hospitals and research centers focused on finding a cure for pediatric cancer. The Children’s Oncology Group has about 100 active trials at any time, funded in large part by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Investigational Agents and Phase 1 Program

As a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, we participate in its Pediatric Early Phase-Clinical Trial Network (PEP-CTN). Our membership in this group of 21 pediatric cancer institutions gives us access to newly developed drugs and treatment regimens for children with refractory cancer, or cancer that does not respond to standard treatments.

Find Pediatric Cancer Clinical Trials

Search for active clinical trials at Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

You can also search for active clinical trials at

  • Search by "studies on map" 
  • Click on “Missouri”
  • Look for studies with “Washington University School of Medicine" or "St. Louis Children’s Hospital” as participating locations

To learn more, call St. Louis Children's Hospital at 314.454.5437.