Research and Clinical Trials
Children’s Oncology Group Leadership
Seattle Children’s is a founding member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), an international organization of childhood cancer specialists. Members work to develop new treatments and reduce long-term effects of cancer and treatments. Through their leadership in COG, our experts help set the worldwide agenda for pediatric cancer research.
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.)
There are more than 100 clinical trials open in COG at any given time. Young patients are able to take part in these studies at COG member hospitals, like Seattle Children’s. The trials study:
- New ways to treat many types of childhood cancers
- Which types of supportive care are most helpful for young people with cancer and their families
- How to improve quality of life for children and young adults who have survived cancer
Seattle Children's has more open COG 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.
These Seattle Children’s doctors chair committees of the COG:
Dr. Todd Cooper, director of our Leukemia and Lymphoma Program and our High-Risk Leukemia Program, chairs the COG Relapsed AML Committee and the New Agents for AML Committee. He currently leads a national COG study for young people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that has come back (relapsed). The clinical trial is testing a new anticancer medicine (CPX-351) designed to kill leukemia cells while limiting damage to the heart.
Cooper will lead a national COG phase 3 study for children newly diagnosed with AML.
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
- 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 chair of the Neuroblastoma Committee, Dr. Julie Park provides leadership for developing neuroblastoma clinical research within COG. She led a recent 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 the feasibility and toxicity of a new chemotherapy approach for high-risk neuroblastoma. She also has worked with local and national investigators to improve the use of radiation therapy 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.
Hawkins is also the chair of the COG Scientific and Discipline Chairs Committee and a member of the COG Bone Tumor Steering Committee. 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, but has fewer harmful side effects. See Clinical Research Bridges New Ideas to Advances in Care.
As the principal investigator for COG activity at Seattle Children’s, Hawkins oversees all the COG-related trials we conduct.