Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children

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Treating Brain/CNS Tumors In Children TOPICS

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 this 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 get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures.

If you would like your child to take part in a clinical trial, you should 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 clinical trials that meet your medical needs. You can reach this service at 1-800-303-5691 or on our Web site at www.cancer.org/clinicaltrials. You can also get a list of current clinical trials by calling the National Cancer Institute Cancer Information Service toll free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or by visiting the NCI clinical trials Web site at www.cancer.gov.

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.

Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the-art care for your child. Sometimes they may be the only way to get access to some newer treatments. They are also the only way for doctors to learn better methods to treat brain and spinal cord tumors. Still, they may not be right for every child.

You can get a lot more information on clinical trials in our document called Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know. You can read it on our Web site or call our toll-free number (1-800-227-2345) and have it sent to you.


Last Medical Review: 03/22/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014