Children's Hospital Colorado

Experimental Therapeutics Program for Cancer Treatment in Kids

A close-up view of an IV inserted into a baby's arm that's wearing lime green bandages Best Children's Hospital by US News Cancer 2020-1 Badge

We know that it can be disheartening for a family to learn that their child’s cancer or blood disorder is not responding to treatments or doesn’t have a good standard therapy. The Experimental Therapeutic Program (ETP) team cares for those patients who have recurrent cancer, cancer that hasn't responded to typical treatment or cancers without a known cure. We provide consultation for these patients for possible clinical trials and care for patients being treated on phase one or phase two clinical trials.

We’re tirelessly pursuing new treatment options to improve outcomes and quality of life for all children diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders. Our team provides compassionate, best-in-class care for patients who participate in clinical trials through our program.

About the Experimental Therapeutics Program

As part of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) at Children’s Hospital Colorado, our program provides access to some of the world’s top pediatric experts and a wide array of clinical trials.

Many patients with childhood cancer have or will participate in clinical research, sometimes through sharing tumor tissue or sometimes through a treatment trial. The trials available through the Experimental Therapeutics Program study new treatments to learn about the safest dose, the best way to give the treatment and how these treatments work best.

Many of our clinical trials are first-in-pediatrics protocols, meaning they have never been given to children and are only available at a very limited number of hospitals. And, our care goes beyond clinical treatment. We also provide mental and emotional resources for our patients and their families, including our Wellness Program, art therapy and social work.

Our program offers patients access to phase one and phase two cancer and blood disorder clinical trials. The new methods may include:

  • New approaches to surgery or radiation
  • New methods for gene or cellular therapy
  • New drugs or a new combination of existing drugs
  • Dosage or strength modification of an existing drug

Our multidisciplinary team

The Experimental Therapeutics Program team includes:

  • Board-certified pediatric oncologists, specializing in phase one and phase two trials
  • Certified pediatric nurse practitioners and physician assistants
  • Experienced oncology research nurses
  • Investigational pharmacists
  • Research team members who help ensure our research is done safely
  • Our Wellness Team, which is available for patients and families in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

In addition to this specialized team, we work with programs throughout our Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and with the surgical oncology, ortho-oncology and radiation oncology groups as well. This ensures a smooth and efficient transition of patient care and expertise in the patient’s specific disease, whether they come from within our program or across the globe.

Why choose us for experimental therapy care

We are one of a few centers in the United States and Canada that offer and support experimental therapies to patients with relapsed cancer or cancer that is resistant to treatment. In addition to our local and industry partner trials, we are also part of many major cooperative groups and National Cancer Institute-sponsored collaborations.

Who we treat at the Experimental Therapeutics Program

Our patients include children, adolescents and young adults who have recurrent cancer, cancer that hasn’t responded to traditional treatment or diagnoses with no known cure. We treat local patients as well as patients from throughout the country and world.

Contact the Experimental Therapeutics Program

Our clinical trial options frequently vary over time. For information about trials that might be available, please visit clinicaltrials.gov, email us at ETP@childrenscolorado.org or call 720-777-5771.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Melissa Widener, PA-C

Melissa Widener, PA-C

Physician Assisting

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Lia Gore, MD

Lia Gore, MD

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Kathleen (Katie) Dorris, MD

Kathleen (Katie) Dorris, MD

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Pediatrics

Meg Macy, MD

Meg Macy, MD

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Pediatrics

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?