Is a New Protocol for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Research or Standard Therapy?
In the United States, doctors generally develop new cancer chemotherapy for children by testing innovative chemotherapy protocols against existing protocols in prospective randomized trials. In the Netherlands, children with leukemia are treated by protocols that are agreed upon by the Dutch Childhood Oncology Group. Periodically, the Dutch Childhood Oncology Group revises its protocols. Sometimes, these revisions are categorized as research, sometimes as treatment. In this Ethics Rounds, we analyze whether enrollment in a new protocol ought to be considered research and, if so, we discuss the implications of that designation. Our discussion highlights the different ways different countries approach complex issues of research ethics.
- Accepted December 16, 2014.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics