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About the Childhood Endocrine-Oncology Program

  • Endocrine tumors begin in the endocrine glands, such as the adrenal, thyroid, and pancreas glands. Most endocrine tumors are benign (noncancerous), but some can become malignant (cancerous).

    At Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, your child will receive excellent care from a team of specialists with in-depth expertise in endocrinology, oncology, surgery, and cancer genetics. We're here to guide your child and family through diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship, every step of the way.

    We diagnose and treat the full spectrum of endocrine tumors at our Childhood Solid Tumor Center, including:

    How We Diagnose and Treat Childhood Endocrine Tumors

    We diagnose endocrine tumors by using several different diagnostic tests to determine the tumor type and location. These tests may include sophisticated imaging studies, biopsy, and blood and urine tests.

    Following diagnosis, your doctor will recommend your child's treatment plan. In this process, we consider your child's age, overall health and medical history, and expectations of how the tumor will behave.

    We typically use surgery to remove endocrine tumors. Your doctor may also recommend chemotherapy to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.

    After treatment, we continue to care for your child through our pediatric survivorship programs. We monitor your child's health regularly to manage disease complications and late effects of treatment. Children and families also have access to support groups and counseling to help the transition from cancer treatment to life after treatment.

    Clinical Trials and Research for Childhood Endocrine Tumors

    At Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, our researchers are striving to understand the scientific causes of endocrine cancers, which results in groundbreaking treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials for pediatric cancer.

    Our Childhood Endocrine-Oncology Program Specialists

    We use a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, working closely to coordinate our pediatric oncology, surgery, and endocrinology experts' efforts. Our endocrine tumors team includes:

    Junne Kamihara, MD, PhD
    Pediatric Oncology, Pediatric Cancer Genetic Risk Program

    Dr. Kamihara received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and her PhD in genetics from MIT. She completed her pediatric residency training at Boston Children's Hospital and her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Kamihara is currently an attending physician at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's in pediatric oncology. Her research and clinical interests focus on pediatric cancer predisposition syndromes.

    Brent R. Weil, MD
    Surgical Oncology

    Dr. Weil received his medical degree from Ohio State University School of Medicine. He completed his surgical residency training at Indiana University School of Medicine and his pediatric general surgery fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital. He is currently an attending physician at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's and in the Department of Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital. His research and clinical interests focus on pediatric surgical oncology.

    Ari J. Wassner, MD
    Endocrinology

    Dr. Wassner attended Harvard Medical School and completed residency training in pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital, where he also served as Chief Resident. He subsequently completed a subspecialty fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at Boston Children's Hospital. He is Director of the Thyroid Program at Boston Children's Hospital, and his research and clinical interests focus on tumors of the thyroid and other endocrine organs in children.

    Sarah Cochrane, MS, LGC
    Lead Genetic Counselor for the Endocrine-Oncology Program

    Sarah received her Master of Science in genetic counseling from Boston University School of Medicine. Since then, she has been practicing as a genetic counselor, seeing adult and pediatric patients with predispositions to cancers and tumors. Her research and clinical interests focus on investigating disparities in access to cancer genetics services and integrating genetic testing into routine care for patients with cancers and tumors.

    Our team also includes a dedicated nurse practitioner and additional genetic counselors:

    • Jill Brace O'Neill, MS, PPCNP-BC - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Jaclyn Schienda, ScM, LGC - Genetic Counselor
    • Katherine Schneider, MPH, LGC - Genetic Counselor
    • Becca Vanderwall, MS, MPH, LGC - Genetic Counselor

    See our entire Childhood Solid Tumor Treatment Team.