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Clinical Trials and NAIT

Clinical trials are medical research studies in which people voluntarily agree to participate to help better understand specific types of diseases and to learn how best to treat them more effectively.

There are many reasons to conduct these trials. Many of them focus on the following:

  • New innovative treatment options or improvements to treatment options that are already being used
  • Ways of potentially preventing these diseases
  • Improvement and development of the way diseases are diagnosed and the methods used to screen for them
  • Potentially giving people with serious illness a better quality of life

The New Agent and Innovative Therapy Program (NAIT) at SickKids is supported by the hospital and Garron Cancer Centre and is focused on providing access to new drugs or other treatments for childhood cancer. The NAIT Program specializes in ‘early phase clinical trials’ when new treatments are at an early stage of their development and are often being tested in children for the first time. Many SickKids investigators are members of the cooperative research groups (see below) investigating new approaches for treating all forms of childhood cancer. Since early phase clinical trials require specialist knowledge and facilities, many of the studies open at SickKids as part of the NAIT Program are not available at other centres in Canada and SickKids is therefore a major referral centre for such patients. Our patient navigator can assist with enquiries relating to treatment of patients from outside Toronto and Ontario.


C17 – Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders

Children Oncology Group (COG)