Our mission is simple: Finding cures. Saving children.
Our approach to fulfilling this mission makes us different from most children’s hospitals. St. Jude focuses solely on treatment and research for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. We often treat diseases that do not respond well to standard treatments. We also develop new treatments that could prove more effective or have fewer side effects.
How are patients accepted?
St. Jude continuously develops new, improved treatments. We offer these new options through clinical trials, also called research studies or protocols. To be accepted for treatment at St. Jude, your child must be eligible for one of our open clinical trials, or meet one of the additional criteria listed below. They also must be referred by a physician or qualified medical professional. Physicians should visit our Physician Referral page for information.
Each St. Jude clinical trial has specific requirements for acceptance. These include:
- Age range
- Type and stage of disease
- Other exact medical criteria (for example, organ function, blood values, performance scores, etc.)
Your child’s physician should contact us as early as possible, because some of our trials only accept children if they have not yet begun treatment.
Is my child eligible for treatment?
Your child must meet several criteria to be eligible. Here are the general eligibility requirements for patient acceptance at St. Jude.
The primary areas of treatment at St. Jude include:
- Cancer. This includes specific brain tumors, solid tumors, leukemias and lymphomas.
- Non-cancerous blood disorders. This includes sickle cell disease, hemophilia, aplastic anemia, thalassemia and other blood disorders we treat.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Genetic conditions that increase a child’s risk of cancer
For most diseases and treatments, St. Jude accepts children, adolescents and young adults who are 21 years old or younger at the time of acceptance. Exceptions to this age limit include:
Children age 18 years old or younger:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and some other forms of childhood leukemia
- Nonmalignant hematological disorders (non-cancerous blood disorders)
- Genetic predisposition for cancer
Children and young adults age 25 years old or younger:
In addition to the general hospital eligibility requirements above, children must meet specific treatment program and/or clinical trial eligibility requirements.
Frequently asked questions about seeking treatment at St. Jude
Where is St. Jude?
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is located in Memphis, Tennessee.
In addition, through the St. Jude Affiliate Program, your family may have options to receive exceptional St. Jude care at one of our seven regional affiliate clinics.
How are patients admitted?
Generally, doctors refer patients to St. Jude. To find out if your child can be treated at St. Jude, have your doctor contact the Physician/Patient Referral Office to confirm that St. Jude treats the illness your child has and if your child is eligible for treatment here.
If your child has a brain tumor or needs surgery, you can contact the Brain Tumor Program and Department of Surgery directly:
What if my child had cancer before, but it came back?
Most St. Jude patients who have cancer are newly diagnosed. However, St. Jude will consider children who have received prior cancer treatment if/when they meet eligibility requirements for any of our ongoing clinical trials.
To say I’m glad we came to St. Jude would be an understatement. They have been so good to her.