• Pediatric Cancer Genetic Risk Program

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center logo

    The Pediatric Cancer Genetic Risk Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's provides multidisciplinary, consultative care to patients and their families whose condition or family history suggests an inherited risk of cancer. We provide cancer risk assessment, comprehensive recommendations for managing cancer risk and psychosocial support for families affected by hereditary cancer. We also conduct research into many aspects of cancer risk and its management.

    Pediatric Cancer Genetics and Prevention

    Our program includes expert pediatric oncologists, genetic counselors, psychologists, and other specialists at both Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital. A visit to our program usually includes time with both a physician and a genetic counselor, both of whom have expertise in all forms of inherited cancer syndromes that affect children. Specialized psychosocial consultation to discuss the family impact of genetic testing and hereditary cancer is also a standard part of clinic visits offered to each family.

    As part of risk assessment, we offer genetic and genomic testing to determine risk for inherited cancer syndromes. We educate families about inherited risk factors and the implications of the genetic/genomic test results for the child and other relatives. Working with referring physicians, we can design individualized programs to monitor for the earliest signs of cancer and to reduce the risks of cancer when appropriate. All cases are reviewed by a larger multidisciplinary team composed of genetic counselors, geneticists, pediatric specialists, a psychosocial team and oncologists from Dana-Farber and Boston Children's Hospital. Referrals are made as needed to clinical geneticists at Boston Children's Hospital or additional specialists. Adult family members may be referred to the Dana-Farber Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention.

    Identifying children at increased risk of developing cancer

    If you or your doctor believe(s) your child might have an inherited form of cancer or be at increased risk for developing cancer, please consider making an appointment in our clinic. At this visit, we will provide an estimate of your child's cancer risks, offer and arrange genetic testing if appropriate, and work with you and your child's health care team to provide strategies to help lower the risks of cancer. We can also offer advice about taking with your children about genetic risk and related concerns.

    Referral to our program is recommended for children who have:

    • A diagnosis or prior treatment for a rare childhood cancer or brain tumor
    • A diagnosis or prior treatment for a cancer of any type plus a family history of cancer
    • A strong family history of cancer
    • A parent (or another relative) known to have a cancer syndrome or a cancer gene mutation

    The field of genetics is rapidly changing, and we provide advanced options in genetic testing across the spectrum of new and established inherited cancer syndromes. The syndromes include, but are not limited to:

    • Cowden syndrome
    • DICER1 syndrome
    • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
    • Hereditary retinoblastoma
    • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia
    • Pheochromocytoma/paragangliglioma syndrome
    • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome

    The Care Team

    Our team includes members from the Pediatric Oncology department at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital, the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Division of Genetics at Boston Children's Hospital.

    The core clinic team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's includes:

    • Lisa Diller, MD, Co-Director and Pediatric Oncology Attending Physician
    • Junne Kamihara, MD, PhD, Co-Director and Pediatric Oncology Attending Physician
    • Allison O'Neill, MD, Pediatric Oncology Attending
    • Katherine Schneider, MPH, CGC, Genetic Counselor
    • Jaclyn Schienda, ScM, CGC, Genetic Counselor
    • Sarah Brand, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
    • Andrea Patenaude, PhD, Clinical Psychologist

    We also consult and work closely with these specialists at Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:

    • Victor Fox, MD, Director, Center for Pediatric Polyposis, Boston Children's Hospital
    • Judy Garber, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    • Stephen Huang, MD, Director, Thyroid Program, Boston Children's Hospital
    • Huma Rana, MD, Clinical Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    • Wen-Hann Tan, BMBS, Geneticist, Boston Children's Hospital
    • Sharyn Lincoln, MS, CGC, Genetic Counselor, Boston Children's Hospital
    • Jill Brace O'Neill, MS, RN-CS, PNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Contact Us

    Phone: 617-632-4298
    Fax: 617-582-7434
    Email: pedi_genetics@dfci.harvard.edu

    Mailing address

    Pediatric Cancer Genetics Program
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Dana Building, Rm. 3-122
    Boston, MA 02215

    Driving directions

    International patients

    Email pedi_international@dfci.harvard.edu, call +1 617-632-2952, or visit our International Patient Services web section to learn more about our specialized services for international patients.

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  • Ranked #1 for Children

    • U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospital Cancer logo Dana-Farber/
      Boston Children's is ranked the #1 pediatric cancer hospital by the U.S. News & World Report 2015-16 Best Children's Hospitals guide.
  • Ask the Cancer Genetics Team

    • Do you have questions about genetic testing or are you wondering if you or someone in your family is at greater risk of developing cancer? Our cancer genetics team can help answer your questions.