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Pediatric oncology successfully embodies the integration of patient care with medical research. Several factors may explain this phenomenon. Specifically, the study of childhood leukemia provided scientists with principles by which they could approach other forms of cancer. Multicenter, cooperative group RCTs resulted in meaningful advances. Parents' often desperate hope for a cure, combined with clinician–investigators efforts to continually improve upon treatments resulted in important improvements in children's lives. Finally, the seemingly tolerant regulatory oversight of human subjects research in the early years of childhood cancer research paradoxically helped link research with care, thus solidifying this bond for years to come. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2011;56:1019–1025. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.