Children’s Oncology Group Treatment Centers

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is a proud member of an important Children’s Oncology Group (COG) treatment center service.  Associated Pathologists, P.A. are the exclusive providers of anatomic pathology diagnostic services for this COG treatment center.

Research has shown that children and adolescents treated at specialized children’s cancer centers, as opposed to local hospitals, have a better outcome.  Specialized children’s cancer centers are hospitals with trained oncology healthcare teams that are dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in children and adolescents.  Most of these COGs provide treatment for children from birth to the age of 19, with some extending pediatric cancer care to individuals up to the age of 21.

Across the United States, more than 200 children’s cancer centers that have met the quality assurance standards established by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) comprise a network of hospitals known as the Children’s Oncology Group (COG).  This group of institutions work together to implement improved therapies developed through collaborative clinical-translational research, including large-scale clinical trials, that are funded by the NCI.  Treatment protocols that are developed through the COG’s clinical trial research network ensure that children with similar diagnoses treated at COG institutions will receive the same treatment, regardless of where they live in the United States.

COG’s research studies encompass hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, central nervous system tumors, and rare cancers.  Hematologic malignancies include the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, as well as acute myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkins lymphomas, and Hodgkins lymphoma.  Pediatric solid tumors studied include neuroblastoma, tumors of bone (Ewings sarcoma, osteosarcoma), tumors of the kidney (Wilms tumor), rhabdomyosarcoma, and other soft tissue sarcomas.

Central nervous system (brain) tumors are the second most common form of childhood cancer.  COG conducts research in children with medulloblastoma, ependymoma, brainstem gliomas, low and high-grade gliomas, and germ cell tumors.  The large multi-site structure of COG also allows it to conduct research into very rare childhood cancer, including retinoblastoma, hepatoblastoma, and other tumors.  In addition to disease specific research, COG conducts studies in developmental therapeutics (new cancer drug development), supportive care, epidemiology, stem cell transplantation, behavioral sciences, and survivorship.