The Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology is a part of the Department of Pediatrics and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC and a member of the Children's Oncology Group, a national consortium of pediatric cancer centers. Our mission is to treat and cure children and adolescents with cancer and blood diseases who live in North Carolina through participation both in national and locally designed treatment protocols. We believe that the care of children with cancer is a dynamic process based on improving treatments through clinical and laboratory research.
Our program has active inpatient and outpatient services and an accredited fellowship program in pediatric hematology-oncology. In addition to on-site clinical activities, program members see patients in outreach settings through AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) clinics in Wilmington. In Chapel Hill, multidisciplinary clinics are dedicated to patients with hemophilia (through the Comprehensive Hemophilia Diagnostic and Treatment Center), sickle cell disease, brain tumors, late effects of anticancer therapy as well as general hematology/oncology.
These clinics are staffed with social workers, psychologists, schoolteachers and other pediatric sub-specialists in addition to the major oncology specialties (chemotherapists; radiation oncologists; general-, orthopedic-, and neuro-surgeons; nurses). A combined adult-pediatric bone marrow transplantation program offers autologous, allogeneic, matched unrelated donor, umbilical cord transplants for malignant and nonmalignant diseases.
Our program is involved in a number of support groups including the Carolina PALS, Andy’s PALS and Ronald McDonald House in Chapel Hill, and one-week summer experiences at camp for children with cancer or hemophilia and their siblings, and children of parents with cancer.
Our program is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group and provides complete care for pediatric cancer patients. We offer both the best standard care as well as more experimental therapies for childhood cancer as well as a full array of emotional, educational, and social support services including:
- Instruction from public school teachers who conduct classes and tutor children and adolescents undergoing long-term care
- Guidance from a social worker who is available to arrange referrals to resources and agencies, to provide information on funding for clinical care, and to assist with transportation concerns
- Assistance of the oncology nurses/specialists who coordinate home health care referrals and teach patients and their families how to manage care at home
- Assistance from a recreational therapist who teaches patients how to use recreation to cope with their cancer
- Services of child psychologists who help patients and their families deal with cancer and adjust to cancer as a chronic illness.
Every other week, program members meet to review and discuss current pediatric cancer cases in a multidisciplinary tumor conference. The exchange of knowledge and opinions among program members ensures that the best possible treatment plan is developed for each patient and that the patient’s support needs are met.
We have been funded by the St. Baldrick's Foundation.