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  • Your Child's Care Team

    Dana-Farber / Children's Hospital Cancer Center logo

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center offers your child a team of pediatric specialists and nurses who focus solely on the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancers. Our specialists are actively involved in pediatric cancer research and use the latest clinical techniques to improve outcomes and quality of life for our patients.

    doctor, nurse, and pediatric patient

    Family-Centered Care

    Our caregivers understand that a cancer diagnosis affects an entire family, and that it affects each family in different ways.

    From your very first visit, you'll find our team is committed to supporting all of your family's physical and psychosocial needs. To provide continuity throughout care, your child will be assigned a primary team of health care professionals led by a pediatric oncologist (cancer specialist) or hematologist (blood disease specialist) who is a senior staff physician. Other caregivers you will regularly see include a pediatric oncology fellow (a physician) or a nurse practitioner, an inpatient nurse, an outpatient nurse and a psychosocial clinician.

    In addition to doctors and nurses, many other members of our team will support your family. Clinic facilitators, a resource specialist, Child Life specialists and other knowledgeable staff are available to help your family handle any practical concerns you may encounter, from finding housing to getting support about financial matters.

    If your child stays overnight on one of Children's dedicated units, the room will have bedside accommodations for one parent. Each unit also has family support space and a child activity room.

    Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic is also built with your entire family in mind. The reception area provides separate waiting areas for young children and teens. Inside the clinic, private consultation rooms provide comfortable waiting areas during initial visits and second opinions.

    Expert Care Team

    When it comes to caring for a child with cancer, it's important that the care team is made up of pediatric specialists. That's why our specialists are specifically trained in diagnosing and treating childhood cancers.

    More than 100 doctors are on our Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center team, including some of the world's best pediatric surgeons, pathologists and imaging specialists from Boston Children's Hospital.

    Global childhood cancer and blood disease experts from all medical specialty areas

    • Although we see some of the most challenging patients, our survival rates meet or exceed published national average survival rates for all forms of pediatric cancer.
    • Providing care for more than 3,900 children each year, our team has more experience treating children and teens with cancer and blood diseases than any other center in New England and most centers in the United States.
    • Some of the most experienced pediatric hematopathologists and neuropathologists examine tissue samples to determine what type of blood disease or cancer your child has, so his doctors can outline the most effective treatment plan.
    • We offer the most advanced clinical therapies, including stem cell transplantation, gene therapy and I-131 MIBG therapy for neuroblastoma.
    • Our radiation oncologists minimize damage to healthy tissue by using computerized tomography (CT) to optimize conformal techniques and identify critical structures before any radiation treatment is delivered. We offer direct referral to the New England Proton Center, if necessary.

    Expert nursing staff and support staff

    • On average, each of our pediatric oncology and hematology nurses has 10 years of experience caring for young children with cancer and blood diseases.
    • We create unique programs like Home Visits, an outreach program that helps newly diagnosed families adjust to life after a cancer diagnosis.
    • Psycho-oncologists, resource and education specialists, financial coordinators, Child Life specialists, pharmacists and many others help manage children’s physical, emotional and everyday needs.
    • One-on-one nursing care is available and provided as needed.

    Innovative scientists whose research is changing the field

    • We have a strong history of innovation. Many of the therapies used today—including the most commonly used treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia were developed by our experts.
    • We are a Children’s Oncology Group Phase I center, and we offer many Phase I clinical trials unavailable at other centers. For example, we recently opened the first gene therapy trial available in the United States since 2002 to treat X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCIDX1).
    • Basic science researchers are integrated into our clinical team, which means their discoveries are quickly translated into new, experimental therapies.

    Leaders in survivorship care

    • Our pediatric oncology survivorship service, the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic is the nation’s model for survivorship care. Survivors meet with a comprehensive team of specialists familiar with their treatment and potential late effects.
    • We offer two childhood cancer survivorship clinics — one each for general oncology and childhood brain tumor survivors. Our brain tumor survivorship clinic is extremely rare; there are only a few in the United States completely dedicated to pediatric brain tumor survivors.
    • Our team works closely with adult centers, so older patients with blood diseases and cancer easily transition to adult treatment centers.
    • We learn from our survivors. By collecting information about late effects of cancer and treatment, we improve how we treat our current patients.
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