Pediatric Surgery for Cancer & Blood Disorders
The Cancer Center team includes Nicklaus Children's Hospital’s Department of Pediatric Surgery, which includes some of the region’s most respected pediatric surgeons. The surgical excision of primary tumors plays a major part in the treatment of solid tumors in the abdomen, chest, head, neck and extremities. The surgical oncology team performs diagnostic and excisional biopsies using advanced techniques including the newest minimally-invasive technologies for cancer surgery, such as thoracoscopy and laparoscopy (video-surgery). The surgeons also place intravenous access for children requiring long-term chemotherapy. The team’s use of smaller IV devices in surgery for cancer has led to a decrease in the incidence of catheter-related complications.
All members of our surgical team are board-certified by the American Board of Surgery. They have special expertise in pediatric tumors and regularly attend ongoing educational programs to keep abreast of advanced therapies. The surgical team also participates in national research protocols.
Nicklaus Children's internationally renowned Brain Institute is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system, including tumors of the brain and spinal cord. The Institute’s pediatric neurosurgeons are nationally recognized leaders in the field and are the only physicians in the region to be certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. The Brain Institute features the latest neurosurgical equipment, including intra-operative, neuro-navigational systems that allow the surgeon to integrate preoperative imagery with the operative procedure; and an MRI Functional Imagery Center that pinpoints brain function and motor skills, thereby enhancing cancer surgery outcomes.
Orthopedic Surgical Services
For tumors involving the musculoskeletal system, Nicklaus Children's Orthopedic Surgery Center offers full evaluation and treatment, including prescribing and interpreting imaging and testing, as well as performing biopsies and definitive cancer surgery treatment. The orthopedic surgical team is one of the region’s most experienced in the removal of pediatric tumors, limb salvaging and reconstruction of children’s extremities following tumor removal. The team is one of a few in the region to utilize a new internally implanted device that makes it possible for a child’s leg to grow through a series of nonsurgical adjustments, eliminating the need for future leg-lengthening surgeries. The department also coordinates rehabilitative care of the patient following cancer surgery.
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.
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.
Apheresis Therapy: Therapeutic Plasma Exchange
Therapeutic plasma exchange involves removing problematic plasma from the blood.
Immunotherapy is a different modality of cancer treatment that utilizes the body’s immune system to fight cancerous cells.
CD34 is an antigen on the surface of a very early blood cell that is important in the formation of the bone marrow.
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.
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.
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.
Hydroxyurea is a medicine that can help children and adults with sickle cell disease.
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.
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.