Treating Pediatric Cancers

More Options, Better Outcomes

Our pediatric cancer team assesses every available option and plans the best treatment strategy for your child’s diagnosis. Your child’s personalized treatment plan may include one or more of the following therapies:


Surgical therapies, to remove the cancer and affected lymph nodes, is a primary treatment option for many solid tumors. Our pediatric patients receive surgical care at the pediatric surgical suites at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital.


Chemotherapy refers to therapy that uses medicine to treat the cancer and different drugs attack the cancer in various ways. Chemotherapy may be given before and/or after surgery.

  • Systemic Chemotherapy: Uses anticancer drugs that are taken orally, injected or given intravenously (IV). The drugs enter the bloodstream and circulate the body, attacking cancer cells by preventing them from multiplying. Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for many blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma
  • Immunotherapy Options: Harnesses the body’s immune system to attack B-cell lymphomas and other cancers.

Radiation Therapy

Also called radiotherapy, this treatment directs high-energy radiation at the cancer cells to kill them or to keep them from growing.

  • Image Guided Radiation Therapy: A computer guides high-precision radiation to treat tumors anywhere in the body while sparing normal tissues around it. Treatment provides high success rates and few complications. We have a no wait policy for our pediatric patients.
  • Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery: Called surgery without a scalpel, this noninvasive technology, is used for inoperable or inaccessible brain tumors. Gamma Knife treatment delivers high dose radiation to small, critically located targets in the head with sub-millimeter precision, sparing healthy brain tissue, without incisions and need for general anesthesia.
  • Total Body Irradiation: Performed in preparation for bone marrow transplantation.
  • Brachytherapy: Radiation is delivered by needles, wires or catheters placed temporarily in the tumor or near the tumor site.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) is a way to replace stem cells and restore bone marrow after they have been destroyed by high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Patients receive the new or transplanted cells intravenously (IV), similar to a blood transfusion.

We provide allogeneic and autologous blood and marrow transplantation, stem cell infusion and umbilical cord transplantation in the treatment of pediatric malignancies and non-malignant disorders. Roswell Park is designated a Blue Distinction Center for Blood & Marrow Transplant, by BlueCross BlueShield Association.