Solid tumors represent a wide variety of pediatric cancers. Some of the more prevalent forms of these cancers are neuroblastoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, Wilms tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, retinoblastoma, and liver and germ cell tumors. Patients generally require a combination of treatments that may include surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Children with solid tumors are treated through the Solid Tumor Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, an integrated pediatric hematology and oncology partnership between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital. Our doctors provide unparalleled expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of these diseases. Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s was one of the first centers in the United States to use adjuvant chemotherapy and perform limb salvage surgery for patients with osteosarcoma. The team continues to advance the treatment of pediatric solid tumors by offering unique therapies, such as radioiodine-labeled metaiodobenzylguanidine (I-131 MIBG) treatment for neuroblastoma.
How we approach solid tumors
Our treatment team includes oncologists who are internationally recognized leaders in their clinical fields. Our surgeons and interventional radiologists have unparalleled experience in performing highly specialized procedures, including rotationplasty for bone tumors, radical resection for liver tumors, bilateral Wilms tumor surgery, and many other complex surgeries and interventions.
Advanced diagnostic techniques
Our team includes pathologists with specialized expertise in childhood solid tumors. We offer genetic profiling of all solid tumors and use molecular diagnostic testing to identify specific tumor mutations, which sometimes can help identify which treatments are more likely to work.
We offer five specialized programs for the diagnosis and treatment of bone and soft tissue tumors, kidney tumors, liver tumors, neuroblastoma, rare tumors, and retinoblastoma. We are the only center in New England, and one of only a few in the country, to offer I-131 MIBG therapy for children with relapsed neuroblastoma. We offer innovative treatment options and clinical trials, including experimental therapies for relapsed, recurrent, or refractory solid tumors as well as second opinions for complex medical questions regarding a new diagnosis or treatment plan for your child.
Stem cell transplant
We offer one of the largest and most experienced pediatric stem cell transplant programs in the world. Our stem cell transplant facility is designed specifically for children and teens undergoing stem cell transplant — minimizing their exposure to harmful toxins and germs without preventing their freedom to leave their room or interact with family and friends.
Services to improve quality of life
We provide a range of innovative programs to improve quality of life during and after treatment, including the back-to-school program, home hydration program (to minimize time spent in the hospital receiving chemotherapy), and multiple, age-appropriate activities and outings with child life specialists.
Our solid tumor treatment team
Our solid tumor treatment team provides unparalleled expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of solid tumors. Our multidisciplinary team includes pediatric oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, ophthalmologists, hepatologists (liver specialists), nephrologists (kidney specialists), and transplant physicians, plus a full range of additional subspecialists.