Cancer diagnosis and treatment for children

Why Choose Siteman Kids

Children are not small adults — from their emotions and worldview to the way they metabolize medications, children function differently. Pediatric cancer is different, too. The most common childhood cancers rarely affect adults, and these cancers often respond better to treatment.

We know how to treat childhood cancer. Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital is a world-class children’s cancer hospital — the largest and most experienced in the St. Louis region.

Most children tolerate cancer treatment better and recover from treatment faster than adults do. But some treatments can cause long-term side effects, so children need monitoring into adulthood. At Siteman Kids, your child will get access to complex treatments and innovative research delivered by a team of specialists who understand children and their unique needs.

Experienced Pediatric Oncology Team

We know you will have a lot of questions about your child’s diagnosis. Your child needs an experienced and flexible team — one that offers the latest treatments, but also gives your family comfort and hope. We are with you every step of the way — from diagnosis to life after cancer treatment.

We have the resources your child needs, including:

  • An entire hospital staffed with pediatric oncologists and surgeons who are leaders in their fields
  • A dedicated cancer support team — including social workers and psychologists; child life therapists and art therapists; physical, occupational and speech therapists and more — who offer vital support in so many ways every day
  • Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine who work with our doctors every day to discover, test and deliver new treatments for our young cancer patients

Advanced Cancer Treatments

We offer the full spectrum of cancer treatment, from standard procedures like chemotherapy, surgery and radiation to more specialized options, including:

  • Bone marrow and stem cell transplants: Our Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program uses lower doses of chemotherapy whenever possible to reduce side effects. We use transplants to treat lymphomas, leukemias, sickle cell disease, immunodeficiencies and many solid tumors. 
  • Targeted therapies: Doctors precisely target cancer cells with treatments like proton beam therapy, Gamma Knife radiosurgery and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). These targeted therapies help minimize damage to healthy cells and organs. 
  • Tailored treatments for precision medicine: We use genomic medicine to create a unique cancer treatment plan attacking the specific genes causing cancer in each child.
  • Excellence in chemotherapy: Our team developed a program for chemotherapy ordering that is recognized as a best practice by The Joint Commission. 
  • CAR T-cell and other cellular therapies: Doctors use immunotherapy to harness your child’s or a donor’s immune system to attack cancer cells. 
  • MIBG therapy: We offer this investigational radiation drug as a treatment option for high-risk neuroblastoma.

Pediatric Cancer Research

Our research partnerships and clinical trials advance new treatment options for children with cancer. 

Critical research partnerships

We partner with other hospitals and research centers worldwide so we can offer your child every available treatment option. These studies and affiliations help us quickly identify new and better treatments. 

For example, we participate in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a worldwide consortium funded in large part by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and similar national and international consortia for transplant therapy and for the treatment of brain tumors and other cancers. 

Learn more about our stem cell transplant affiliations.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are research studies that give your child the option to try new treatments before the treatments are widely available. Clinical trials enable us to deliver innovative therapies to children while testing the safety and efficacy of these new medicines and procedures. Many of these trials aren’t offered anywhere else in the region.

We are one of only 21 member institutions of COG’s Pediatric Early Phase-Clinical Trial Network. Our participation in this network allows us to develop and offer the newest therapies for pediatric cancer patients. 

Learn more about our pediatric cancer clinical trials and research on brain tumors and stem cell transplants

Comprehensive Support for Children and Families

We care for all of your child’s needs — from medical to psychosocial and educational. 

Coordinated care

We assign a clinical nurse coordinator to every child we treat. Nurse coordinators serve as the primary point of contact. They support families in many ways, including: 

  • Facilitating appointments
  • Tracking down and delivering test results 
  • Arranging home nursing care, if needed
  • Coordinating consultations with other specialists, as needed

Help for social and emotional concerns

We help children and young adults cope with the mental and emotional challenges that may result from cancer. Our support encompasses all aspects of your child’s life, including:

  • Peer acceptance 
  • School and college retention
  • Career planning
  • Fertility concerns

We also offer support for close family members, including siblings, affected by your child’s illness. Find out more about our family support.

Survivorship services

We will continue working with your child after treatment and into adulthood. 

  • Children and teens: Our Late Effects Program focuses on monitoring children and young adults for any long-term side effects of cancer treatment.
  • Adults: Our Lifelong Outcomes Clinic cares for adult survivors of childhood cancers, helping them manage emotional concerns, late side effects and other issues.

A Journey of Hope: What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Cancer and Care

You are not alone on your journey with cancer — we are here with you. From diagnosis to life at home, this educational video will help you better understand your child’s cancer and the care your whole family will receive here at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Make an Appointment

Call 800.678.5437 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.