Current Studies - Child Cancer Network
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Current Studies

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials have played an enormous role in the dramatic improvements in childhood cancer cure rates that we have seen in the last 30 years. As of June 2017, 23 clinical trials were open for patient enrolment in our two paediatric oncology treatment centres.



These are run by large paediatric oncology consortiums such as the United States-based Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the European-based International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP)the Australia New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG)St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and other European trials groups. We also run a small number of industry-sponsored trials.



Our ongoing membership of international clinical trial groups offers direct benefits for our patients, including access to new treatment and advanced tumour testing and central review of response to therapy. In addition, New Zealand also contributes to a number of other international research projects such as tumour biology studies and registries for rarely diagnosed childhood cancers.


Click here for a full list clinical trials that are currently open in New Zealand.


For more information contact:

Sarah Hunter

Research Manager

Starship Blood and Cancer Centre

Dental Late Effecs of Oncology Treatment of Children in New Zealand

Anti-neoplastic therapy for children suffering from malignancies can result in dental anomalies such as enamel defects, microdontia, root shortening and missing permanent teeth. This project aims to clinically and radiographically examine the oral health and presence of dental anomalies associated with oncology treatment and to determine the impact of such anomalies.


Attempts will be made to determine if specific neo-plastic agents, types of treatment and age of initial diagnosis allows oncologists and dentists to predict the likelihood of dental abnormalities in children who are undergoing cancer treatment.


For further information contact:

Dr Erin Mahoney

Specialist Paediatric Dentist

Hutt Valley DHB

Developing a Model of Care for the Long-term Follow-up of Childhood Cancer Survivors

During survivorship, issues related to cancer treatment diminish in impotance as other issues, such as the management of late effects, rehabilitation, health promotion and psychology support, increase. This Australasian qualitative study will delineate the preferences, unmet needs and barriers experienced by this survivorship group, in order to develop a gold standard service specification for the growing number of survivors of childhood cancer.


For further information contact:

Kathy Yallop

Late Effects Clinical Nurse Specialist

Starship Blood and Cancer Centre

Returning to School after Cancer Treatment

There are currently no  international guidelines regarding when children should return to school following their cancer diagnosis. This study will verify what advice families are currently receiving from the medical teams at the two specialist paediatric oncology centres and then consider how this advice impacts on educational facility attendance, infection rates and ultimately the successful delivery of treatment. A guiding principle for the NCCN is that children with cancer are managed in a uniform way throughout New Zealand. This audit of current practice will inform the development of a national approach to “return-to-school” in order to ensure optimal social, educational and health outcomes for our child cancer patients.


For further information contact:

Dr. Claire Gooder


The Margaret Lewis Study

International research has shown that child cancer survivors are at greater risk of developing subsequent malignancies and of ‘late mortality’ in adulthood due to causes which may be linked to their childhood cancer and its treatment.


Dr Margaret Lewis was a Wellington-based paediatrician who was instrumental in establishing a national children’s cancer database in the 1980s – the predecessor of the New Zealand Children’s Cancer Registry (NZCCR).


The NZCCR Working Group is undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the Margaret Lewis dataset in order to determine the incidence and survival of children diagnosed with cancer in New Zealand between 1978 and 1999, including the incidence of second malignancies and cause-specific mortality.


For further information contact:

Kirsten Ballantine

NZCCR Manager

Children’s Haematology Oncology Centre