Benefits to young cancer patients, now and in the future

UW Health Kids Cancer Care specialists provides expert cancer care for children. For most of our patients, that care includes participation in clinical trials.

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

Clinical trials benefit future patients, but can also 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.

Watch: Clinical trials at UW-Madison and American Family Children’s Hospital

View clinical trials available at UW Health

Find a clinical trial


What is a clinical trial?

Discoveries in medicine are often made through research. Clinical trials are research studies that test promising new treatments to see how effective they are.

New therapies can come with some risk, but we make every effort to minimize that risk. Your child will receive careful follow-up and ongoing medical care throughout the trial.

All participants receive treatment of some sort. We rarely use placebos (harmless, non-effective treatments) in cancer research.

Who can participate in a clinical trial?

Trials are available 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.

Treatment process

Taking part in a clinical trial

Your child’s doctor could refer you to us. You can also learn about the trials we offer through Studyfinder.

You also can learn about some of our trials by watching these videos:

How clinical trials work

If there’s a trial you would like to learn more about, these are the steps involved:

  1. 01.
    Contact us

    We can help you learn more about the trials we currently offer. Call us or find a clinical trial:

  2. 02.
    Speak with our research team

    If there’s a trial your child qualifies for, we invite you to meet with the research team. They will give you more information about the trial, the treatment involved and the potential benefits and risks.

  3. 03.
    Provide consent

    We will work together to decide if a clinical trial is a good option for your child. If you decide to have your child participate, you’ll sign an informed consent agreement.

  4. 04.
    Your child receives the treatment

    Our team provides instructions for you and your child. We watch your child’s health closely with checkups and follow-up care through the trial’s completion. You’re free to withdraw your child at any point should you so choose.

Smiling child with signing UW Health Kids
UW Health Kids
Our pediatric experts have served the special needs of children for more than 100 years. We focus on each child’s unique needs and offer social and emotional support to help you and your child face even the most complex condition. Our long history includes the creation of medical advances that save lives around the world. Together, we get your child back to health and enjoying being a kid.

Physician resources

Information for physicians

We’ve played leadership roles in the design, implementation and analyses of national clinical trials. We can help find trials that could be appropriate for your patients.

To learn more about pediatric oncology clinical trials currently being offered at UW, please visit Clinical trials at UW Health

Our research team at UW Health takes part in many cancer groups, including:

Patient and support services

More information about clinical trials

These resources can help you learn more about clinical trials: