Childhood Leukemia Overview

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Treating Leukemia in Children TOPICS

Clinical trials for childhood leukemia

You may have had to make a lot of decisions since you’ve been told that your child has leukemia. One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing which treatment is best for your child. You might have heard about clinical trials being done for leukemia. 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 to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures.

Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the-art cancer 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 cancer. Still, they might not be right for every child.

If you would like your child to take part in a clinical trial, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials. Children’s cancer centers often conduct many clinical trials at any one time, and most children treated at these centers take part in a clinical trial as part of their treatment.

You can also call our clinical trials matching service for a list of clinical trials that meet your child’s medical needs. You can reach this service at 1-800-303-5691 or on our website at You can also get a list of current clinical trials by calling the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or by visiting the NCI clinical trials website at

Your child must meet the requirements of any clinical trial to take part in it. If he or she does qualify for a clinical trial, it is up to you whether or not to enter (enroll in) it.

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

Last Medical Review: 11/11/2013
Last Revised: 02/03/2014