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The return of cancer can happen after apparently successful treatment of the disease, or it can happen during treatment itself. The National Cancer Institute defines recurrence as "a reappearance of cancer at the same site (local), near the initial site (regional), or in other areas of the body (metastatic)."
When a recurrence of cancer is diagnosed, treatment options may be limited. However, research is continually being done to improve cancer survival. Using clinical trials and medical research, tremendous advances have been made in the treatment of childhood cancer. Continued progress in the field of pediatric oncology depends upon identification and testing of experimental therapeutic agents in carefully conducted Phase I (1) and Phase II (2) trials.