Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Research

Two physicians reviewing x-rays

Dedicated physician/investigators and staff  +  world-renowned programs  =  innovative, cutting edge treatments for children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer

Thoughtful physician/researchers and staff

From the physicians and nurse practitioners to the social workers and pharmacists, we are all committed to improving the care of children with cancer. We practice academic medicine, and all members of our team are actively engaged in research that will make our treatments more effective, less toxic, and cure more kids. The research we take part in everyday helps not only children in Minnesota, but throughout the nation and world.

To see current available trials, please check the Cancer Center's clinical trials website.

Leaders in national and international research programs

At the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, the same physicians who take care of young patients with cancer, are also national and international experts in the field. We are active physician-researchers and leaders within the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest organization devoted to pediatric cancer research. 

Solid Tumors

Dr. Brenda Weigel is a recognized leader in the treatment of sarcomas, such as rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewings sarcoma, and osteosarcoma. Until recently, only about 30% of patients with metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma survive. In 2010 Dr. Weigel and her team completed a COG trial of a new chemotherapy plan that has improved survival by 20% at 18 months. Longer follow-up is needed, but these results are promising.

Also under Dr. Weigel’s leadership, we are one of 21 children’s hospitals that are part of the COG Phase I program. Phase I trials are early-phase clinical studies where we are testing the newest drugs for the first time in children. These are drugs that have been tested in adults with cancer, and we think there is promise in childhood cancers. Dr. Weigel is currently the Chair of the COG Phase I program, and influences which new drugs will be tested in young cancer patients throughout the country.

Dr. Emily Greengard is quickly becoming an expert in treating young patients with solid tumors, such as renal cancers, sarcomas, and neuroblastoma. Dr. Greengard is leading a new phase I trial of Crizotinib with chemotherapy for relapsed solid tumors. For neuroblastoma, Dr. Greengard is initiating an MIBG program which will be the first in Minnesota.

Brain Tumors

Dr. Chris Moertel and his colleagues are moving forward exciting new treatments for patients with aggressive brain tumors. The team has developed a brain tumor vaccine that prompts the body’s own immune system to attack the cancer cells.

Largest portfolio of available treatments in the region

Because of our expertise and partnerships, we have more innovative options for our patients than any other children’s hospital in the upper Midwest. Our large network ensures that we have ready access to the newest and most promising treatments.