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Oncology

At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, our pediatric cancer specialists and surgeons, scientists, nurses, and technicians collaborate to achieve long-term survival and improve the quality of life for hundreds of children with cancer each year. Because we offer sub-specialty expertise in every area of childhood cancer, families from throughout the region of Northern and Central California, as well as Nevada, come to Children’s. We offer comprehensive treatment of childhood cancers and blood diseases, as well as the benefits that come from the scientific and clinical resources of our affiliations with national and regional clinical trial networks.

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Why Families Choose Us

Nationally-Recognized Pediatric Cancer Treatment

  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is a member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), which includes more than 5,000 dedicated experts in the field of pediatric cancer. COG unites the best of the academic and research worlds to move the most promising treatments from the lab to the patient.
  • Our oncology faculty have led and participated in clinical trial development with COG as well as other clinical trial networks and have authored many publications that have led to improvements in cancer recognition and treatment.
  • The oncology faculty is particularly focused on improving quality of care leading to better outcomes for patients and sharing this information nationally, Many faculties have published articles in top medical journals in the area of Supportive Care of children and adolescents with cancer, and have authored a textbook on this subject.
  • The California Department of Health and Human Services has honored our Blood and Marrow Transplant Program as a "National Center of Excellence."

Pediatric Neuro-Oncologists Who Are Experts in Treating Childhood Brain Tumors

  • Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Children's is a unique collaboration between Neurosurgery and eight other Children's Hospital departments, giving children with brain tumors the most comprehensive care possible.
  • Children’s is one of approximately 40 centers worldwide participating in the Head Start Consortium for Pediatric Brain Tumors, which focuses on improving the cure rate and quality of survival for the youngest children with tumors.

Early Phase/Novel Therapeutics Oncology Program

  • This program provides local access to early phase I/II trials for the treatment of relapsed and refractory pediatric cancers. It includes access to new and experimental promising drugs and treatments to children and adolescents with the most complex and difficult to treat cancers.
  • In addition to treatment protocols, we have early phase trials in supportive care, drug metabolism and novel methods for tumor surveillance for earlier and less invasive detection.
  • This program is currently supported by grants from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation.

Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program

  • This program provides expert medical care for children, adolescents and young adults who have survived a childhood cancer experience to address medical and psychologic effects in a multidisciplinary manner.
  • The program is working in collaboration with the UCSF Benioff Childen’s Hospital San Francisco program, led by Robert Goldsby, MD and together with leading initiatives in advocacy, clinical care, and research.

Research, Medical Breakthroughs, and Cures

  • Clinical Research Studies
  • Research that has changed medicine all over the world is conducted right here at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). Our faculty and fellows are involved in cutting-edge research in the areas of epigenetics, transplantation, gene therapy, immunology and vaccine development, nutrition and metabolism, red cell metabolism, iron kinetics, and hemoglobin disorders.
  • A tumor bank has been created between the clinician scientists in the Cancer and Blood Diseases Center and CHORI scientists invested in understanding more about pathways of cancer growth, targeted therapy, and epigenetics.
  • Many patients and parents choose to participate in the clinical trials we adopt here that use experimental and potentially lifesaving therapies, including new drugs and different modalities of care.

Family Focused Care

  • Our team also includes trained Child Life specialists who use therapeutic play to minimize each child’s stress and anxiety, especially when imaging or procedures are needed for care. This intervention can also minimize the need for sedation.
  • Our clinic nurses and social workers understand that treating cancer and blood disorders is emotionally difficult. Every step of the way, they offer not just a helping hand, but a hand to hold. Our goal is to get the children we care for back home as soon as possible.