Rajen Mody, M.D., oncologist and co-director of the Solid Tumor Oncology Program, connects with a patient in the infusion clinic at Mott.

One of a Kind

U-M's Pediatric Solid Tumor Oncology Program

issue 2 | Fall 2012

Given the rare and complex nature of pediatric cancers, collaboration among pediatric specialists from multiple disciplines is the best approach to treating these difficult diseases. The Solid Tumor Oncology Program at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital is one of the nation's largest multidisciplinary programs caring for children with solid tumors, and it's the only program of its kind in Michigan.

"Our goal is to provide integrated, comprehensive care for children with cancer," says Erika Newman, M.D., pediatric surgeon and co-director of the program. "Our pediatric oncology specialists include surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists and a wide array of supporting ancillary services, such as physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, social workers and child life specialists. All these professionals come together to provide coordinated care in one setting for kids with cancer."

In addition to a weekly cancer clinic held at Mott, clinicians collaborate at weekly multidisciplinary tumor boards, where they create and implement individualized treatment plans for each child. Treatment options include the full range of therapies, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stem cell therapy and combinations of these therapies when appropriate.

Additionally, patients in the Solid Tumor Program have access to Phase 1 Clinical Trials, which may offer hope when standard therapies fail. As active members of the national Children's Oncology Group, pediatric oncologists collaborate with leading pediatric cancer centers across the country to find and offer the most promising therapies currently available.

"Our program offers care for all types of solid tumors, including rhabdomyosarcoma, Wilms tumor, neuroblastoma, hepatoblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma and others," says Newman. "Additionally, we have 24/7 availability for referring physicians and families, for their convenience and peace of mind."