Research and Clinical Trials
Seattle Children’s is internationally known for developing better ways to care for young people with cancers or blood disorders. Many of the doctors who will care for your child are leaders in research to transform treatment and improve outcomes. The knowledge we gain through research influences the care we give all children and young adults. Year after year, Seattle Children’s is among the top childhood cancer centers in the nation with the most patients enrolled in clinical trials.
Clinical Trials at Seattle Children’s
Clinical trials are research studies that test whether a new medicine, device or treatment is safe and effective. Many children with cancer and blood disorders come to Seattle Children's from all over the world to take part in research studies of new options that are available only through clinical trials.
The children and young adults we treat have access to clinical trials through our:
- Leadership in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest consortium of childhood cancer specialists.
- Participation in elite research networks that create and test phase 1 and other early treatments. This means your care team has the widest possible range of trials to consider when recommending options for your child.
- Nonprofit, in-house biotech enterprise, Seattle Children’s Therapeutics. Its capabilities range from research support, to clinical trial management, to a “Cure Factory” that makes chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell treatments specific to a child’s cancer. These include T-cell therapies developed in collaboration with the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research that use the immune system to fight cancer.
- Center for Clinical and Translational Research, which works to transform scientific discoveries into real-world therapies.
- Partnership with Fred Hutch in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
To learn about clinical trials at Seattle Children’s:
- Call us at 206-987-2106 or toll free at 866-987-2000. Our team can also consult with your doctor or provide a second opinion.
- Email us.
- Find many clinical trials offered at Seattle Children’s on our Current Research Studies page or on ClinicalTrials.gov. Read our guide about searching for trials on ClinicalTrials.gov (PDF).
- Check for bone marrow transplant clinical trials on Fred Hutch’s clinical trials page.
- Get answers to common questions about taking part in research, including how we protect your child’s health and safety during research.
- Read Dr. Abby Rosenberg’s blog post about deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial: Clinical Trials: What Would You Do If It Were Your Child?
Our physician-scientists work with experts across the globe to create new treatment options and test them in early studies, called phase 1 clinical trials. We develop and offer early-stage clinical trials through industry partnerships and our membership in:
- COG’s Pediatric Early Phase-Clinical Trial Network. Seattle Children’s and 20 other childhood cancer programs in the United States were selected through a peer review process. The physician-scientists do lab research and study new treatments to find more effective therapies with fewer side effects.
- New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT). Seattle Children’s doctors are leaders within NANT. We are the only center in the Pacific Northwest that belongs to it. NANT works to find new therapies for patients with neuroblastoma that is not well controlled by treatment (refractory) or that comes back (relapsed). The goal is to cure more children with advanced neuroblastoma with fewer side effects.
- Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia (TACL). This group of children’s hospitals and universities develops phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials for recurrent childhood leukemia and lymphoma. TACL combines lab research with early-phase clinical trials to speed the progress of developing new therapies for children.
- Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC). This network of 15 children’s hospitals studies and tests new therapies for children with brain tumors. PNOC tests new therapies that are specific to the biology of each patient’s tumor. The goal is to improve cure rates and reduce side effects of treatment.
- Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN). Top academic immunologists at member clinics in North America work together to study experimental cancer immunotherapies and test novel agents in early-phase clinical trials.
Our physician-scientists do studies to:
- Better understand how different diseases start, develop and progress
- Test new treatments or combinations of treatments
- Learn who’s at risk for cancer and blood disorders
- Find the best supportive therapies
- Reduce side effects of therapy and the long-term effects of cancer and its treatment
- Identify the health and behavior patterns that may affect cancer risk, through the National Cancer Institute’s Connect for Cancer Prevention Study
Seattle Children’s conducts phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials for children and young adults with many kinds and stages of cancer or blood disorders, including those who:
- Have just been diagnosed
- Are already in treatment
- Have cancer that has returned
Why Research Leadership Matters
Laying the groundwork for better treatments
Discoveries in the lab help us understand how disease starts and develops. We use this understanding to create better ways of treating and curing cancer. Read about our:
Improving outcomes for kids with cancer
Thanks to Seattle Children’s robust research, we offer a busy pipeline of clinical trials that are improving survival, especially for kids with the hardest-to-treat cancers. Read how:
- Kids with high-risk leukemia now have more, better options.
- Five-year survival increased 19% for kids with high-risk group 3 medulloblastoma by adding carboplatin to other treatments.
- Greta’s parents considered hospice care for their baby girl — until they learned of a clinical trial of immunotherapy at Seattle Children’s. Greta has been cancer-free for 6 years.
Sparing kids harsh effects
Our goal is to treat cancer better, in less time, with milder side effects than standard chemotherapy or radiation. One way is to boost the immune system with T-cell immunotherapy. We also test medicines that target specific genetic changes in tumors.
- Read how targeted therapy helped Aliyanna beat the odds.
- Learn what inspired a cancer survivor’s mom to set a $1 million goal to give more kids more options in the future.
Enhancing quality of life long-term
The experience of cancer is stressful both during and after treatment. The goal of our Survivorship and Outcomes research program is to improve the overall quality of life for patients with cancer and their families, starting on the day of diagnosis and extending even after treatment ends. We study a range of topics, such as how to:
- Limit the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on heart health
- Recognize and address a patient’s symptoms
- Support how patients and their families communicate
- Maintain physical fitness after surviving cancer
- Boost resilience and mental health during and after cancer treatment
Read about the Palliative Care and Resilience Research Program.
Guiding the worldwide agenda for childhood cancer research
Through leadership in the Children's Oncology Group, our experts help set the global agenda for pediatric cancer research. We play a key role in focusing the efforts of researchers worldwide.
Ways to Help
Donations from people like you help researchers pursue ideas that could lead to lifesaving treatments for kids with cancer.