Clinical trials for children: Advancing knowledge of childhood disease

Kids are not little adults, and understanding how to diagnose, prevent and treat kids is important to us. UW Health Kids researchers, scientists and doctors have teamed up to launch select clinical trials to evaluate new therapies and search for better treatments.

Why take part

Benefits to young patients, now and in the future

The health care we provide is shaped by research innovations. In fact, nearly every medical advance and treatment that improves a child’s life today can be linked to past clinical trial results.

Your child has access to the same clinical research through clinical trials. Through a clinical trial, we advance the effort to learn more about a disease, effective treatments and possible preventions. For example, our pediatric experts are investigating the causes and personalized treatments of childhood asthma. There are also dozens of trials available for children with all different diagnoses and stages of cancer through UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center.

The process

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are research studies involving volunteers like your child and led by a team of our medical professionals. That team is dedicated to safely exploring treatments or ways to prevent disease. A clinical trial might try to find a new drug for cancer or asthma, while another might assess treatment for diabetes.

In every trial, there are strict federal safety guidelines in place to ensure the rights and well-being of children are protected. In addition, in a clinical trial, children may not be deprived of any treatment necessary for their health. Sometimes the outcomes of trials don’t lead to the expected results. However, the process and discovery can lead to new research directions, which can translate to benefits for future patients. Participating in a clinical trial is voluntary and you can end involvement at any time for any reason.

UW Health Kids is proud to provide its pediatric patients and their families access to clinical trials.

Pediatric cancer clinical trials

UW Health Kids cancer care

UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center specialists provide expert cancer care for children including trials for children with all different types and stages of cancer. In most cases, there are specific criteria that participants must meet. These might include having a certain type of cancer, for instance, or a certain treatment history.

We develop exciting new trials based on findings we’ve discovered. Some are only offered here. We also take part in multi-center trials. These trials test new treatments on children throughout the country.

We can offer hope in cases where your child’s cancer has not responded to standard treatments or has returned. No matter the trial, we always prioritize your child’s safety and comfort.

Portrait of Dr. Christian Capitini in a red shirt with patient Scarlett being held by her mom
Patient story
Scarlett's story

Scarlett Griffith was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at 2½ years old. She is now enrolled in a clinical trial with Dr. Christian Capitini, a UW Health Kids pediatric oncologist for a promising new treatment. For her family and her care team at American Family Children’s Hospital, it represents real hope for a cure.

Clinical trials at UW Health Kids

Navigating a childhood illness is difficult. That’s why the pediatric clinical trials team prioritizes the unique needs of each child and their family. Hear more from members of that team, families and patients on what sets UW Health Kids apart.

Learn more about the clinical trial experience

Kids cancer care

Our team considers you and your child part of our family. From diagnosis through treatment and into adulthood, we will care for your child as if they are our own.

Learn more

Find a trial

Find a trial

All clinical trials for youth

Clinical trials for patients 18 years and younger on Studyfinder

Pediatric cancer clinical trials

View pediatric cancer clinical trials on Studyfinder

Contact the Cancer Trial Navigation at (608) 890-8070 or