Access to many of the newest cancer therapies requires enrollment in early- phase clinical trials. The Division features a very active Developmental Therapeutics Program to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new anticancer agents in children, and is one of only 21 programs in North America accredited by the National Cancer Institute and Children’s Oncology Group as a member of the Phase 1 and Pilot Consortium.

Through this consortium, children have access to clinical trials in the earliest stages of testing, including drugs developed to target cancer drivers identified by genetic sequencing. In particular, these studies provide the first point of access to innovative investigational agents for children whose cancers have become refractory to standard treatments as well as other investigational therapies.

We also provide patients with access to early-phase clinical trials sponsored by other national collaborative groups, such as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute consortium and Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma (TACL) consortium. Says Julia Glade Bender, MD, Director of the Developmental Therapeutics Program, “These studies allow us to offer patients access to emerging therapies when conventional therapies have been exhausted, and increase our options for matching the right drug to the right patient using our PIPseq platform.”