Studying the Late Effects of Childhood Cancer

It is important to understand how the therapies that have been and are used to treat childhood cancer will impact the lives of future survivors. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is at the forefront of studying the late effects of childhood cancer. Investigators at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have reported on many medical and psychological late effects in survivors of childhood cancer. The team continues to work on a variety of research questions related to important survivorship issues.

Ongoing research on late effects of childhood cancer

Research is an important part of the Cancer Survivorship program at CHOP. Our active research agenda includes cooperative group studies, multi-institution collaborations and investigator-initiated protocols. These ongoing studies help us to learn more about the late effects of childhood cancer.

We hope to gain important knowledge that will improve the way we treat future patients and may minimize the long-term effects of therapy. Other studies may also provide information about a specific late complication that certain survivors are currently experiencing and enable clinicians to provide better follow-up care for these patients.

Ongoing research studies at Children's Hospital include:


  • Fertility preservation in prepubertal boys: an experimental approach
  • The effects of cancer treatments on ovarian function: a longitudinal study by the Oncofertility Consortium (ORACLE Study)
  • ALTE11C1: longitudinal assessment of ovarian reserve in adolescents with lymphoma
  • Ovarian tissue freezing for patients at risk for infertility and premature ovarian failure
  • Outcomes in reproduction for childhood and adolescent survivors (ORCAS-Cisplatin): a multi-site pilot study
  • A longitudinal evaluation of decision making and recovery of spermatogenesis in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors who sperm banked at diagnosis 


  • Assessment of the fat-bone axis after childhood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 
  • Longitudinal study of bone health and body composition in survivors of pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation


  • Cardiac biomarkers during anthracycline therapy and the risk of cardiotoxicity


  • Mothers as caregivers for survivors of brain tumors
  • Mothers and fathers perspectives: family management of childhood brain tumor survivors
  • Transition readiness of adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancer
  • Reciprocal relations between childhood brain tumor survivor neurocognitive function and family functioning

Children’s Oncology Group Studies

  • ALTE04N1: health-related outcomes for Hodgkin disease survivors
  • ALTE03N1: key adverse events after childhood cancer
  • Quality of life, physical activity and neurocognitive assessments of patients on treatment studies for ALL, AML and osteosarcoma

Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS)

In 1996, Children’s Hospital became one of 25 sites across the United States and Canada to participate in the long-term Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), which was established with funding from the National Cancer Institute.

The original CCSS cohort study involves 14,000 childhood cancer survivors diagnosed between 1970 and 1986, many of whom were Children's Hospital patients. CCSS studies have focused on both the medical and psychosocial late effects of treatment.

The study has expanded to include another 15,000 survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed between 1987 and 1999. Again, many of these survivors are CHOP patients.


  • Telephone-based  counseling intervention for primary caregivers of childhood cancer survivors
  • Evaluation of iron overload in pediatric oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients
  • A comparison of adolescent and young adult (AYA) and parental knowledge regarding cancer treatment and potential late effects of therapy
  • A study of dosimetry and radiation-induced toxicity in the developing dentition of pediatric patients with soft tissue sarcoma

Who can participate in research?

There are many opportunities to participate in research studies on the late effects of therapy. A research nurse is available during clinic visits to discuss eligibility for participation in a variety of studies taking place at CHOP.

Reviewed on August 27, 2014