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Pediatric Cancer

We move mountains for kids.

Dr. Slayon high-fiving a patient

There is no cancer more terrifying than one that affects our children. At UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, our pediatric cancer specialists provide world class compassionate care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults who are bravely battling a variety of cancer including leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, solid tumors and benign diseases of the blood such as sickle cell anemia and hemophilia.

We use leading-edge, innovative new treatments for aggressive brain tumors such as glioblastoma, diffuse pontine glioma and recurrent medulloblastoma. Our physicians and researchers are constantly testing promising new treatments for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors and relapsed osteosarcoma. We have a top cellular therapy and bone marrow transplant program using technologies such as CART therapies and trials to reduce graft versus host disease through advanced cell sorting techniques. We deliver comprehensive family centered care thinking about the health of young people from a holistic perspective.

Care that puts your child first

UF Health Shands Children's Hospital at the University of Florida is Florida’s premier children’s inpatient health center, providing innovative and comprehensive care for children at the highest standards of quality and service.

At our pediatric care locations, you will meet experts who provide care in an environment that recognizes the unique needs of young patients. Our facilities have nature-themed décor that is designed to be warm and inviting for children including easy and convenient accessibility.

A team approach to your child’s care

Our multidisciplinary team of experts serve as your child’s health care team. Our pediatric cancer specialists at every level of your child’s care, all work in partnership with your family to provide the emotional, physical and spiritual support you need.

Pediatric cancer staff

Through collaborative teamwork, we are able to achieve a high level of excellence in pediatric care.

Your child’s pediatric cancer team works collaboratively with researchers in the five other Health Science Center colleges, as well as those from across the University of Florida campus. These include the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, the University of Florida Genetics Institute and the Powell Gene Therapy Center. The multidisciplinary treatment teams include physicians, nurses and staff who provide extensive experience in many areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Through this coordination of support, our patients are able to benefit from numerous services and programs.

Our programs

  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Program
  • Pediatric Sarcomas and Other Solid Tumors Program
  • Pediatric Blood Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma
  • Pediatric Cancer Survivorship
  • Hemophilia and Oncology
  • Pediatric Cancer Survivorship
  • Hemophilia and Sickle Cell

Pediatric Brain Tumor Program

Treatment of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors presents unique challenges requiring the collaboration of multiple specialists. Today, more than half of the children with these tumors can be cured. While some children with brain tumors are cured with surgery alone, but frequently surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments must be used together to achieve the best outcome. For patients with incurable tumors, new treatments and therapies are available to lengthen and enhance a child’s quality of life. Learn more about the UF Health Pediatric Brain Tumor Program and how we delivery comprehensive care to children with brain and spinal cord tumors.

Pediatric leukemia and lymphoma

While pediatric leukemia and lymphoma are among the most treatable forms of childhood cancer, relapse is a tough challenge. Our specialists are focused on delivering innovative treatment plans for patients with high risk and relapsed leukemia and lymphoma.

Why choose UF Health?

There are many reasons to choose UF Health. Here are some of the ways that make our program special:

  • Our pediatric cancer team gives special attention to providing family-focused, holistic care to our patients.
  • Our pediatric cancer experts use a team approach to care for your child’s health. It’s through this teamwork that we are able to achieve high level of excellence in pediatric care
  • Our team is hyper focused on providing outstanding quality and safety and have been ranked in the top 50 pediatric cancer programs by U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital Rankings 8 out of the past 10 years.
  • Our patient-centered facilities feature nature decor and designs that help improve the experience of our young patients
  • Our renowned experts use leading-edge technology to provide extensive treatment options, including computer guided neurosurgery, radiosurgery, Linac Scalpel, proton therapy and cutting edge clinical trials.
  • Our center has developed several innovative clinical trials for patients with cancers that are difficult to cure, such as glioblastoma, relapsed osteosarcoma, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.

Conditions we treat

  • Leukemia/Lymphoma
  • Brain Tumors
  • Non-malignant hematology
  • Sarcomas and Other Solid Tumors
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Sickle Cell Disease and Bleeding Disorders
  • Wilms tumor (nephroblastoma)
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Pulmonary (lung) surgery for osteosarcoma and other metastatic sarcomas
  • Ovarian tumors
  • Ovarian-preserving surgery for teratoma
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Ganglioneuroma
  • Hepatoblastoma
  • Melanoma
  • Vascular malformations
  • Thyroid cancer

Services offered and treatment options

  • Pediatric neurology
  • Pediatric oncologic surgery
  • Pediatric brain surgery
  • Pediatric orthopaedic surgery
  • Pediatric radiation oncology
  • Infusion center
  • Pathology
  • Radiology
  • Weekly cancer tumor board
  • Clinical trial enrollment
  • Psychosocial support
  • Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program
  • Social workers
  • Patient educators and resources
  • Personal wellness and rehabilitation programs
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Palliative care
  • Home care
  • Prevention and screening
  • Support groups
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Art therapy
  • State-of-the-art technology and innovative therapy
  • Biopsy for lymphoma
  • Port placement for chemotherapy
  • Tumor embolization
  • Interventional radiology

Ayden Price celebrates beating cancer

Ayden Price

Additional support for patients and families

Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Clinic

The Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Clinic is available to help improve the health and well-being of pediatric cancer survivors and their families through identification and follow up of medical and psychosocial programs that emerge after treatment has been completed.

Licensed clinical pediatric cancer social workers

Licensed clinical pediatric cancer social workers are educated and skilled to assist with the psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual issues that often arise when a child is diagnosed with cancer.

Certified Child Life specialists

Certified Child Life specialists work in partnership with families, doctors, nurses, and other caregivers to meet the unique emotional and developmental needs of children and families. These services are available in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. You can request a consultation by calling (352) 594-6470 or asking your medical team for a referral.


Streetlight is an adolescent and young adult support program here at UF Health for teens and young adults aged 13-25 living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, and other chronic and life-limiting illnesses. The services are available during a patient’s admission to Shands Hospital.


Our program offers comprehensive neuropsychological testing to our patients with cancer and benign blood disorders. Our reports offer advice to parents and teachers to improve the lives and performance of our patient at school, work and in society.

Pediatric Palliative Care program

Our program provides comprehensive palliative care using a multidisciplinary team approach to patients with all our patients with chronic illnesses.


Our program provides oncofertility counseling and cutting edge fertility preservation technologies to our adolescent and young adult patients.

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute

The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is the first and leading proton therapy facility in the Southeast. Located in Jacksonville, Florida, our expert physicians have treated more than 10,000 patients and over 20 cancer types, helping patients around the world achieve excellent success and quality of life.

Outside of Proton Therapy Institute


Pediatric cancer physicians

  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Pauline Balkaransingh
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Languages: Spanish
    Paul Castillo Caro
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    John A Fort
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Joanne Lagmay
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    John A Ligon
  • Elias Sayour, MD, PhD
    Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Jeffrey H Schwartz
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    William Slayton
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Erlyn C Smith
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Brian Stover
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Amanda L Strobel
  • Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist (Child Cancer Specialist)
    Tung T Wynn

Pediatric neuro-oncology physicians

Pediatric surgeons

Pediatric cancer locations

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