Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility that serves as the leading provider of pathological and laboratory services for children in the region. It offers highly sophisticated testing to support the diagnosis of cancer and ongoing evaluation of children with cancer and blood disorders. Each of the pathologists on staff has particular expertise in diagnosing cancer in children.

Pathology and Laboratory Services

Cytogenetics and flow cytometry are among the advanced laboratory services essential to the study and diagnosis of cancer that are offered at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Cytogenetics is the study of chromosomes and related diseases that are caused by chromosome abnormalities.
The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services offers a comprehensive list of cytogenetic tests for cancer diagnosis, including routine chromosome analysis (karyotyping) of peripheral blood, bone marrow and other tissue. In addition, the department offers an extensive array of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) testing. FISH tests introduce fluorescently labeled DNA probes to detect or confirm gene or chromosome abnormalities that are beyond the scope of routine cytogenetics. Flow cytometry involves analysis of specimens in a flow cytometer to evaluate blood malignancies and immunological abnormalities.

Radiology Diagnostic and Follow-up Services

The Department of Radiology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital offers a level of experience that makes it a regional leader in pediatric cancer diagnosis and follow-up evaluation.
The department features state-of-the-art equipment, including

Our cutting edge CT and MR images allow complete follow-up imaging in a single sitting. MR spectroscopy and perfusion imaging allows for further tissue characterization.

The department is one of only four pediatric centers in the U.S. performing MIBG nuclear medicine scans and PET scans. Our staff of 16 pediatric radiologists has an unparalleled level of experience in radiological evaluation of infants and children.

Apheresis Therapy: Leukapheresis

Leukapheresis involves removal of a patient’s white blood cells from the circulating blood. It’s often used as a treatment during leukemia if the blood has too many white blood cells. Learn more

Apheresis Therapy: Red Cell Exchange

Apheresis therapy is a medical procedure that’s used to remove certain blood components when problems exist. Red cell exchange involves removing problematic red blood cells from the blood. It’s often used as a treatment for sickle cell disease. Learn more

Apheresis Therapy: Therapeutic Plasma Exchange

Therapeutic plasma exchange involves removing problematic plasma from the blood. Learn more

Cancer Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a different modality of cancer treatment that utilizes the body’s immune system to fight cancerous cells. Learn more

CD34 Test

CD34 is an antigen on the surface of a very early blood cell that is important in the formation of the bone marrow. Learn more

Collection of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

The body’s stem cells can be used for treatments for a number of different disease, including certain cancers and non-malignant conditions. Learn more

Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count is a common blood test that’s often taken during physicals or other medical checkups. It provides an evaluation of overall health, and also checks for certain disorders such as infection, anemia, leukemia, immune system disorders and other diseases. Learn more

Head and Neck Cancer and Tumor Surgery

In the pediatric population there are variety of tumors that can originate in the head and neck. Common tumors are lymphoma, salivary tumors and thyroid cancer. Learn more

Hydroxyurea Treatment

Hydroxyurea is a medicine that can help children and adults with sickle cell disease. Learn more


Photopheresis is a medical procedure that can treat graft versus host disease. It involves suppressing the immune system to prevent it from reacting adversely on the skin. Learn more

T Cell Collection by Apheresis

The body’s T cells are a type of white blood cell that can be used for treatments for a number of different diseases including cancer. The process of collecting these T cells is known as T cell collection by apheresis. Learn more