Doctor with patient at the Cancer Predisposition ProgramThirty percent of the approximately 12,500 children diagnosed with cancer each year may have a genetic cause for their disease.

A promising area of research in childhood cancer is genomic medicine, in which the genes of children with certain cancer diagnoses are closely examined.  Advances in this field have shown that certain childhood cancers are related to specific genetic variations. Some of these same genetic changes may also cause other physical or developmental differences, and when grouped together, are considered to be a cancer predisposition syndrome.  

Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Program

The Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Program at Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine identifies at-risk children through genetic testing and diagnostic screenings, and can increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment.

One of only a few services of its type in the country, the Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Program offers a multi-disciplinary team approach, state-of-the-art medical care, genetic testing, counseling and psychosocial support for the child and family.  Through comprehensive coordination of care, each child and family receives support from expert clinicians at all levels and a resource to navigate what will invariably be a complex future.

We offer Whole Body MRI for patients with certain cancer predisposition syndromes. The whole body MRI takes less than one hour without exposure to radiation. Scans are reviewed by pediatric radiologists and reported to the Cancer Predisposition Program team for follow-up.

Nurse with patient at the Cancer Predisposition ProgramReasons for Referral:

  • Strong family history of cancer
  • Physical signs that suggest a potential predisposition syndrome
  • Multiple cancers in one individual
  • Known family history of cancer predisposition syndrome

Common Diagnoses we see in our clinic:

  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS)
  • Dicer-1 Syndrome
  • Family Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
  • Gardner Syndrome
  • Hereditary Retinoblastoma
  • Isolated Hemihypertrophy
  • Li- Fraumeni Syndrome
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasms (MEN)
  • Von Hippel Lindau (VHL)

Conditions We Treat

Why Choose Us?

St. Louis Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals. We follow one simple mission – to do what’s right for kids. That mission comes to life through medical discovery, innovative therapies and compassionate care.

Best Children's Hospitals

We offer world-class care to children thanks in part to generous gifts from hundreds of people who have joined us as Guardians of Childhood. This philanthropic support enables us to fulfill our mission to do what's right for kids. Join us in making health care better for all children.

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