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Pediatric Cancer

There is no cancer more terrifying than one that affects our children. The two most common forms of cancer in children are leukemia and brain/spinal cord tumors. Our pediatric cancer center offers a full spectrum of services and is dedicated to delivering the highest level of care for cancer and blood problems in infants, children and adolescents, including leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, solid tumors, non-malignant hematology and stem cell/marrow transplant.

Our pediatric hematology and cancer unit is one of the largest of its kind in the Southeast. In addition, the University of Florida Pediatric Brain Tumor Program is focused on delivering comprehensive care for children with tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Today, more than half of the children with these tumors can be cured.


Multidisciplinary Treatment Team

Our experts provide comprehensive care in an environment that recognizes pediatric patients’ unique needs as children. UF Health Shands Children's Hospital at the University of Florida is the state’s premier children’s inpatient health center, providing innovative and comprehensive care for children at the highest standards of quality and service, in partnership with their families, health care teams and communities. UF Health Shands Children's Hospital houses multiple specialists and services required for optimal diagnosis and treatment of cancer and blood disorders. Directed by Pediatric Hematologists and Oncologists, our multidisciplinary team offers children and families the emotional, physical, and spiritual support they need. It’s through teamwork at every level of our organization and with you, the family, that we are able to achieve a high level of excellence in pediatric care in the following areas:

Treatment of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors presents unique challenges and necessitates the collaboration of multiple specialists. 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. Even for patients with incurable tumors, new treatments and therapies are available to lengthen and enhance a child’s quality of life.

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

The pediatric cancer center’s faculty works in multidisciplinary teams 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. Additionally, our patients benefit from numerous services including:

  • Integrated clinical experience
  • Pediatric hematology/oncology
  • 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
  • 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

Our renowned experts utilize the latest innovative technology to provide extensive treatment options, including:

  • Computer guided neurosurgery
  • Radiosurgery – Linac Scalpel
  • Proton therapy
  • Clinical trials