The Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital offers the latest advances in diagnosing and treating childhood cancer and blood disorders, such as leukemia, lymphoma (Hodgkin's Disease & Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma), brain tumors, bone tumors (such as osteosarcoma & Ewing's Sarcoma), solid tumors such as Wilms' tumor, neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and kidney tumors. The Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program is supported by a multidisciplinary clinical team of physicians and highly skilled advanced practice nurses with expertise in all aspects of care for children with cancer.
The team meets every week to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient and discuss new and current cases. A pediatric oncologist coordinates the multidisciplinary care, which can involve many services, such as pediatric diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, laboratory medicine, pediatric surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, orthopedics, pediatric pathology and neuropathology.
Why Smilow Cancer Hospital for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
The Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program treats 80-100 new cancer patients a year, and also provides care for complex and challenging benign tumors, as well as sickle cell disease, hemophilia, coagulation abnormalities and platelet disorders. While most pediatric cancer care is delivered on an outpatient basis, when a child's acute medical needs require hospitalization, pediatric patients are admitted to Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital — which is attached to Smilow Cancer Hospital on the seventh floor by a walking bridge. The seventh floor of Smilow is devoted to pediatric oncology patients, with more than 5,000 square feet of space that includes four exam rooms, two negative- and two positive-pressure isolation rooms to help keep immunosuppressed or contagious patients healthy, a family lounge area, two consultation rooms and a dedicated infusion room.
One young, happy cancer survivor
Hailey Ciarleglio is finished with her treatments, the hair she'd lost to chemotherapy has returned as a crown of soft curls, and she's taking classes in her father's karate studio. She runs up to her brother and kisses him on the elbow before scrambling back to her place. "I love my big brother!" she says.
Brain tumors: the great frontier of pediatric oncology
While great successes in pediatric oncology have been achieved, one area that has lagged is in the treatment of brain tumors, which are among the most common type of childhood malignancy. With this great challenge in mind, our clinicians have formed a comprehensive clinic in pediatric neuro-oncology. As the only one of its kind in the state of Connecticut, it involves a collaboration of pediatric oncologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, psychologists, and social workers to care for this very complex and medically needy group of patients. In addition we are actively participating in national clinical trials for brain tumor patients as well as developing trials for more experimental therapies through brain tumor consortiums.
As part of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), members of the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program work cooperatively with other academic health centers to conduct large-scale investigations. Because childhood cancer is relatively rare, medical centers must work together to compile enough data to yield reliable science. Our participation also assures that our patients have access to the newest and best treatments available. Efforts such as these over the last 60 years have yielded dramatic increases in cure rates of pediatric cancers, such as lymphocytic leukemia in which 80 percent of children are cured.
With the establishment of Yale's Comprehensive Hemophilia and Blood Clotting clinic, our program has become unparalleled in the timely diagnosis of bleeding and clotting disorders, allowing for life-saving therapy.
Learn more about the Yale Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program and its cutting-edge research.
Recognizing that children with cancer need more than medical care, the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program supports patients and their families by helping them meet their social, emotional, educational, and behavioral needs.
Partnering with Yale Child Study Center, the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology team includes three psychologists, a psychiatrist, and three social workers who offer an array of psychosocial services to children receiving cancer care at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, the Smilow Cancer Hospital pediatric hematology-oncology clinic, and our site in Guilford. Services are available to patients and their families.
- Routine psychosocial evaluations for newly diagnosed patients and their families
- Home visitations for the most gravely ill or psychiatrically symptomatic children and their families
- A school integration program that includes counseling for families and children about their rights to have special services, and working with school districts to make the appropriate accommodations for students returning to school, including providing special education services if necessary
- Psycho-educational and neuropsychological testing for patients who are at risk for neurocognitive problems
- Support groups for siblings
- Support groups for parents with trauma symptoms
- End-of-life support team for children who are terminally ill
In addition, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital provides services such as child life, clown visitation, and music and massage therapists, to help both children and families to cope with illness and treatment. The HEROS Clinic at Smilow Cancer Hospital offers children, adolescents and adults a survivor clinic focused on wellness issues after treatment for childhood cancer.