- How are brain and spinal cord tumors in children treated?
- Surgery for brain and spinal cord tumors in children
- Radiation therapy for brain and spinal cord tumors in children
- Chemotherapy for brain and spinal cord tumors in children
- Targeted therapy for brain and spinal cord tumors in children
- Other drug treatments for brain and spinal cord tumors in children
- Clinical trials for brain and spinal cord tumors
- Complementary and alternative therapies for brain and spinal cord tumors in children
- Treating specific types of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors
- More treatment information
- What should you ask your doctor about your child’s brain or spinal cord tumor?
Clinical trials for brain and spinal cord tumors
You may have had to make a lot of decisions since you’ve been told your child has a brain or spinal cord tumor. One of the most important decisions you will make is deciding which treatment is best. You may have heard about clinical trials being done for your child’s type of tumor. Or maybe someone on your health care team has mentioned a clinical trial to you.
Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done with patients who volunteer for them. These studies are done to learn more about promising new treatments or procedures.
Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art treatment for your child. Sometimes they may be the only way to get access to some newer treatments. They are also the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat brain and spinal cord tumors. Still, they are not right for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about clinical trials that might be right for your child, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials. You can also call our clinical trials matching service for a list of studies that might meet your child’s needs. You can reach this service at 1-800-303-5691 or on our website at www.cancer.org/clinicaltrials. You can also get a list of current clinical trials by calling the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or by visiting the NCI clinical trials website at www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials.
Your child will have to meet certain requirements to take part in any clinical trial. If your infant or young child does qualify for a clinical trial, you can decide whether or not to enter (enroll) the child into it. Older children, who can understand more, usually must also agree to take part in the clinical trial before the parents’ consent is accepted.
To learn more about clinical trials, see our document Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know.
Last Medical Review: 08/12/2014
Last Revised: 08/24/2014