Childhood Cancers & Blood Disorders We Treat
At Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, your child receives the most advanced treatment for his or her condition delivered by a medical team charged with addressing all of your child’s medical concerns.
Many of our physicians are internationally known experts in their fields and have been responsible for major advances in the treatment of childhood cancers and blood disorders. Our physical therapists, neuropsychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and nurse practitioners work with our medical experts to treat your child’s illness and manage the side effects of the disease.
But expert medical care is just one part of the treatment equation. We also provide care that addresses the illness and its impact on the whole family. We are aware of the effects cancer has on children and their families and can provide you with the support you need along the way.
We offer treatment for the following cancers and blood disorders.
Leukemia and Lymphoma
Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of research into leukemia, the most common cancer affecting children. Medical Director Dr. William Carroll is focused on developing new therapies for the most common tumor found in children, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and is funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and a grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels, among others.
Dr. Carroll was the founding Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group ALL Committee and was also one of the founding members of Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma, a consortium that leads research into medications to end recurrence of those diseases.
We conduct clinical trials, treating patients with childhood Hodgkin lymphoma and childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the lymph system, as well as childhood leukemia. Children receive the most effective treatments for their conditions in accordance with strict scientific guidelines.
There are several types of childhood leukemias we treat patients for at the Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, including:
- acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of cancer in children
- acute myeloid leukemia, which causes the body to make abnormal blood cells
- chronic myelogenous leukemia, a slower growing form of leukemia
- chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, which results from the creation of too many white blood cells
- juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, a rare form of the disease in which cancer cells spread to the skin, lungs, and intestines
Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors
Our doctors are at the forefront of research and treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors, the second most common form of childhood cancer. Dr. Jeffrey Allen created the first neuro-oncology program in the country and is medical advisor to the Making Headway Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for these diseases.
Our medical investigators are leading research into immunotherapy and personalized, tumor-specific treatments. Radiation therapy, when needed, is available to our patients at NYU Langone’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center.
The childhood brain and spinal cord tumors we treat patients for include:
- atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor, which causes cancer cells to grow in the tissues of the brain
- childhood craniopharyngioma, rare tumors found at the base of the brain near the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus
- choroid plexus tumors, which block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and cause headaches and increased pressure around the brain
- ependymoma, a cancer of the cells that make cerebrospinal fluid
- germ cell tumors
- high grade and low grade gliomas
- primitive neuroectodermal tumors
Our team is led by doctors who have performed extensive research into several types of blood disorders, including hemophilia and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), as well as screening tools that can detect blood disorders in newborns. We also provide assistance with managing the long-term symptoms that come with blood disorders.
We specialize in conditions that include:
- aplastic anemia, which inhibits the body’s ability to make enough new blood cells
- Cooley’s anemia, the most common severe form of thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder
- hemophilia, which can cause excessive bleeding or bruising
- ITP, which causes skin rash, easy bruising, and nosebleeds or bleeding in the mouth
- sickle cell disease, an inherited disorder that can lead to pain and affects the way blood moves through the body
- von Willebrand disease, which affects the blood’s ability to clot
Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors
Our experts lead research into bone and soft tissue tumors and have special expertise in novel techniques, including those designed to preserve joint and limb function. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, if necessary, are used in the treatment of these tumors.
The childhood sarcomas we specialize in include:
- Ewing sarcoma, a cancer of the legs, arms, feet, hands, chest, pelvis, spine, or skull; and the soft tissue of the trunk, arms, legs, head and neck, and abdominal cavity
- osteosarcoma, which occurs in the cells that create new bone tissue
- rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer found in muscle, tendons, cartilage, and bone
- synovial sarcoma, a cancer that forms in the tissues around the joints in the arms or legs, but may also form in the trunk, head, or neck
In people with neurofibromatosis (NF), tumors grow in different parts of the nervous system. We treat children and adults with all forms of the disease, including NF 1 and 2, and schwannoma, through our Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center. We bring together neurologists, neuro-oncologists, otolaryngologists, neurosurgeons, and pediatric oncologists who create care plans and conduct clinical trials as part of the NF Clinical Trials Consortium.
Other Types of Childhood Tumors
The Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders also specializes in cancers specific to children, rare cancers, and conditions normally seen in adults that occasionally occur in children as well.
We treat children with:
- hepatoblastoma, a form of liver cancer that typically affects children under age 3 and usually does not spread outside of the liver
- melanoma, the most common form of skin cancer in children
- neuroblastoma, a cancer that forms in the immature nerve cells of infants and children
- retinoblastoma, a cancer of the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye
- testicular and ovarian germ cell tumors
- Wilms tumor, which can occur in one or both kidneys, and is the most common form of kidney cancer in children