Clinical Trials of Childhood Ependymoma

Executive Summary

Clinical trials are considered a better method for treating childhood ependymoma. The evaluation of new drugs, different combinations of treatments, new approaches to radiation therapy or surgery, and new therapies are integrated into clinical trials of childhood ependymoma. New treatments with better efficacy and safety are the outcome of a clinical trial. The results of the clinical trials have been effective in reducing the symptoms and side effects during the treatment. Volunteers or patients willing to participate in the clinical trials should communicate with their doctor and healthcare team, and research expertise to make well decided informed choices regarding participating in the problem while signing informed consent. The volunteers willingly participate as they know the studies are a way to help advance the treatment of childhood ependymoma. Eligibility criteria for childhood ependymoma clinical trials ensure that the participants are safe, bound to no ill effects, and well-structured research. People who take part in clinical trials of childhood ependymoma may withdraw their participation at any moment in time due to any personal or medical conditions. It may be because the treatment is not working or giving the desired results, including severe risks and side effects.

Clinical Trials of Childhood Ependymoma

Scientists and health care specialists are always looking for better strategies to treat and cure children with ependymoma. These specialists create research studies involving volunteers, known as clinical trials, to conduct research and make scientific advances. Clinical trials evaluate and verify different new approaches, medications, or devices to treat childhood ependymoma or any disease condition ​1​. Every medicine or drug approved by the FDA that is presently used was tried and tested in clinical trials. 

Clinical trials can be employed for all types and stages of childhood ependymoma conditions. Most clinical trials focus on experimenting with new treatment options. They learn if a new treatment strategy is safe, effective and better than the existing ones. The tests also evaluate new combinations of treatments, drugs, and other latest approaches in radiation, surgery or other treatments ​2​. Some specific studies also focus on creating unique treatment plans and medications to manage and relieve symptoms and the possible side effects (short term and long-term) of treatment.

Volunteers are required to carry out clinical trials. These people are the first to avail themselves of the new treatments and medications before making them available to the public. But since all these are new, there can be many risk factors associated with these trials. Sometimes people may experience a few to a range of side effects, and there are also chances that the new study may not become successful. People interested in joining clinical trials of ependymoma should talk with their doctor or healthcare team and understand all possible pros and cons of the study. This helps people to make informed well-decided choices.

Joining a Clinical Trial of Ependymoma

People come forward to participate in clinical trials for various reasons. Some patients consider clinical trials the best treatment option because the existing standard ones are not efficient in managing the disease condition. Hence people are often willing to try out clinical trials hoping that it will give them a better result. They join clinical trials with such hopes, even when they are uncertain about the impact of the trial.  

Other patients and volunteers join clinical trials to help the trial progress and arrive at a beneficial result. They consider it a way to contribute to childhood ependymoma disease condition’s treatment and cure. They will be aware that they may not benefit from the trial, but they participate with the hope that it will help future patients(children) with ependymoma. 

Clinical trials’ cost and insurance coverage of ependymoma can vary with the study and its location. In some cases, the costs of participating in clinical trials are reimbursed, whereas, in some others, they are not. So, people wanting to participate in clinical trials must talk with the team that carries out the research and your insurance company to learn more about costs and reimbursement.

In some clinical trials, people express the concern that they are not given any treatment but instead a placebo. Placebo refers to a sugar pill usually combined with standard cancer treatment procedures. So, before any study involving a placebo, patients or volunteers should be well informed. 

Informed Consent and Patient’s Safety

Volunteers or patients wanting to join clinical trials must talk with their doctor/ healthcare team and research specialists to make well decided informed choices regarding participating in the trial. This is known as informed consent. 

Doctors should describe how this trial differs from the standard treatment strategy. What are the benefits and risk factors associated with this study? Explain the eligibility criteria to participate in clinical trials; what is expected of each participating person?

Eligibility criteria for clinical trials of ependymoma ensure that the participants are safe, bound to no ill effects, and the research is well-structured. The participant and the research team will together review these criteria.

People who take part in clinical trials of ependymoma may withdraw their participation at any point in time due to any personal or medical conditions ​3​. It may be because the treatment is not working or giving the desired results, including severe risks and side effects. Experts and scientists would closely monitor clinical trials to look for their good and bad impacts. Also, before participating in clinical trials, people should communicate with the concerned specialists and doctors to know who will manage their treatments and care during the trial and post the trial.  


  1. 1.
    Merchant TE. Current Clinical Challenges in Childhood Ependymoma: A Focused Review. JCO. Published online July 20, 2017:2364-2369. doi:10.1200/jco.2017.73.1265
  2. 2.
    Ellison DW, Kocak M, Figarella-Branger D, et al. Histopathological grading of pediatric ependymoma: reproducibility and clinical relevance in European trial cohorts. J Negat Results BioMed. Published online May 31, 2011. doi:10.1186/1477-5751-10-7
  3. 3.
    Horn B, Heideman R, Geyer R, et al. A Multi-Institutional Retrospective Study of Intracranial Ependymoma in Children. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Published online May 1999:203-211. doi:10.1097/00043426-199905000-00008