Research and Clinical Trials

Children’s Oncology Group Leadership

Seattle Children’s is a founding member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the largest pediatric oncology consortium in the world. Members work to develop new treatments and reduce long-term effects of cancer and related treatments. Through leadership in the COG, our experts help set the worldwide agenda for pediatric cancer research.

Since March 2020, Seattle Children’s oncologist Dr. Doug Hawkins has led the COG. Hawkins, a national expert on soft tissue cancers, continues to treat children and teens at Seattle Children’s, as he has since 1996.

Thanks to researchers working together through COG, the outlook for children with cancer has improved dramatically. Fifty years ago, children’s cancer was virtually incurable. Today, the combined 5-year survival rate for all cancers is 80%. (See Seattle Children's statistics and outcomes.)

More than 100 COG clinical trials are open at Seattle Children’s at any given time. Seattle Children's has more open COG treatment trials than 98% of pediatric academic medical centers. This means your care team has the widest possible range of trials to consider when recommending options for your child.

“Things like personalized medicine and using the immune system to fight cancer aren’t a futuristic vision anymore. We’re getting closer to the day when some patients may need far less chemotherapy and radiation.”

Dr. Doug Hawkins, Children’s Oncology Group chair. See Rewriting the Rules for Cancer Treatment.

In addition to Dr. Hawkins’s leadership, Seattle Children’s doctors play key roles in COG committees focused on specific conditions.

  • Dr. Todd Cooper, director of our Leukemia and Lymphoma Program and our High-Risk Leukemia Program, chairs the COG Relapsed AML Committee. He currently leads a national COG study for young people with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) that has come back (relapsed) and a national COG phase 3 study for children newly diagnosed with AML. Cooper is clinical trial chair of the Pediatric Acute Leukemia (PedAL) Initiative.

    Dr. Soheil Meshinchi’s roles with COG include:

    • Chair of the COG Myeloid Disease Biology Committee
    • Director of the COG AML reference laboratory
    • Co-chair of the COG Myeloid Disease Committee
    • Biology chair of the Pediatric Acute Leukemia (PedAL) Initiative
    • Principal investigator for the TARGET AML Initiative to define genetic and other factors that cause AML and allow it to grow and spread. The project is a joint effort by the COG and the National Cancer Institute.
  • As the immediate past chair of the Neuroblastoma Scientific Committee, Dr. Julie Park provided leadership for developing neuroblastoma clinical research within COG. She led a previous national COG trial for high-risk neuroblastoma, a rare but aggressive form of childhood cancer. As a result of that trial, treatment for children with high-risk neuroblastoma has changed across North America.

    In earlier research, Park conducted a multicenter clinical trial to determine if a new chemotherapy approach for high-risk neuroblastoma was effective and safe. She also has worked with local and national investigators to improve how radiation therapy is used to treat neuroblastoma.

  • Dr. Eric Chow chairs the COG Outcomes and Survivorship Committee. He is nationally known as an expert in the long-term effects faced by survivors of childhood cancer. Chow is medical director of our Cancer Survivor Program

    His research aims to identify risk factors or early signs of aftereffects of treatment, including heart disease, additional cancers and learning problems. Finding people at risk early could mean starting care to prevent or lessen these late effects.

  • Before his election as COG leader, Hawkins chaired the COG Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee. In that role, he oversaw biology studies and clinical trials for rhabdomyosarcoma and other soft tissue sarcomas across North America.

    He has led COG clinical trials for Ewing sarcoma and for rhabdomyosarcoma, both common childhood cancers. The rhabdomyosarcoma study identified a therapy that is as effective as standard treatment, with fewer harmful side effects.

Ways to Help

Donations from people like you help researchers pursue ideas that could lead to lifesaving treatments for kids with cancer.

Email us to learn more. Or you can donate today and designate the area you’d like to support.