Cancer Center

Pediatric Cancer Research at CHOP

Groundbreaking, patient-focused and multidisciplinary

One of the things that makes the Cancer Center at CHOP one of the best pediatric cancer programs in the nation is its long-standing commitment to pediatric cancer research. Driving this commitment is the Center for Childhood Cancer Research (CCCR), a Center of Emphasis at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute.

The goal of CCCR is to find new treatments and cures for childhood cancer and to help eradicate the pain and suffering it causes. Our pediatric cancer research encompasses highly integrated basic, translational and clinical research involving physicians, nurses, psychologists, scientists and other health professionals who are all experts in their respective fields.

In the lab and in the clinic, our collaborative approach sets us apart from other centers. We have more than 50 investigators from a variety of programs including Oncology, Hematology, Pathology, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology.

Our designation as a Children’s Oncology Group Phase I and Phase II institution helps us advance this mission by allowing us to fast-track clinical trials of new treatments for all types of childhood cancer.

Dream Team for pediatric cancer research

John Maris, MD, leads the first ever pediatric “Dream Team” dedicated to creating new treatments for the most challenging childhood cancers. The pediatric Dream Team will have $14.5 million in funding over four years, provided by Stand Up To Cancer and St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Members of the Dream Team include world-renowned pediatric cancer researchers and clinicians from two disciplines: genomics, which is the study of genes and their functions; and immunotherapeutics, which are treatments that use the body’s own immune system to fight disease.

Clinical trials for childhood cancers

Clinical trials are among the fastest and safest ways to find treatments that work against pediatric cancer. Studies have shown that children's survival rates are increased by 20 to 40 percent if their cancer care is coordinated by pediatric oncologists that follow established clinical trial protocols.

As a national leader in pediatric cancer research, not only are the majority of our patients enrolled in some sort of clinical trial but many of the trials that are launched at cancer programs across the country, are developed right here by CHOP's very own cancer researchers — allowing the same people who developed the trial, to care for your child.

A video for families: Experimental Therapy for Pediatric Cancer

Learn more about experimental therapies available at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the importance of clincial trials in pediatric cancer research.


Clinical trials are designed for all types of patients, whether you are newly diagnosed or have been diagnosed with a relapsed or refractory cancer.

What makes us different?

Our cancer research areas of focus 

Recent News

Pediatric cancer research is constantly evolving here at CHOP. Check out some of our latest advancements:

Developmental Therapeutics

Clinical trials for relapsed or refractory pediatric cancers

The Developmental Therapeutics team at Children's Hospital's Cancer Center is made up of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and research associates who provide therapeutic options for children with relapsed or refractory pediatric cancer through innovative clinical trials.

The team includes some of the world's leading experts in pediatric cancer research and drug development, including Peter Adamson, MD, chairman of Children's Oncology Group, an international organization that is at the forefront of efforts to find cures for childhood cancer. Team members work closely together to develop a customized treatment plan for each child, which may include several different clinical trials.

The goals of the program include:

As part of the program, patients and families have access to the GlaxoSmithKline Hope for Families Fund, to assist with travel and living expenses for eligible children with relapsed or refractory cancer while they are at CHOP for clinical trials.

Partnering to find a cure

While some of the best pediatric cancer clinicians and researchers in the world call CHOP their home, to ensure we are bringing the latest research and clinical trials to our patients, our physicians, lead, collaborate and participate with many cooperative groups, including:


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Annual Report 2013

A team of experts, led by CHOP oncologist and scientist John Maris, MD, received a prestigious “Dream Team” grant in 2013. The $14.5 million grant will aid in the development of bioengineered agents to fight childhood cancers. Learn more in CHOP’s 2013 Annual Report.

Meet the People, See the Research

The new Colket Translational Research Building is home to the Center for Childhood Cancer Research.