Childhood Cancer Program

Share Your Story

Approximately 12,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States, with more than 400 of those diagnoses occurring in Georgia.

Since the passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971, unimaginable advances have been achieved in every area of childhood cancer care and research. Advanced detection approaches and better treatment strategies are allowing an increasing number of children and adolescents to live beyond their disease. As a result, pediatric cancer survival rates have grown from 20 percent before the 1960s to nearly 80 percent survival rate today.

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is one of the largest childhood cancer programs in the country caring for more than 2,000 children and young adults each year. We have more than 20 physicians who are highly skilled and experienced in treating children with all forms of cancer—from the most common to those rarely seen outside of the top pediatric centers.

Because of our size, we are able to dedicate teams of providers to each of the major types of childhood cancers described below. This degree of specialization means that every child is cared for by a team that is focused solely of his disease.  

Video: Oh The Places They'll Go: Kids with Cancer Describe their Happy Places

Oh The Places They'll Go: Kids with Cancer Describe their Happy PlacesView

For young patients battling childhood cancer at the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center, the practice of “going to your happy place” is more than just a catchphrase; it’s a coping mechanism that can release endorphins and assist with pain management.


Childhood Cancers

  • Leukemia/lymphoma

      Our program offers a large team of providers with specialized expertise in treating all forms of leukemia and lymphoma, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Each year, our program cares for approximately 125 newly diagnosed patients using a variety of treatment protocols, including blood and marrow transplantation and Phase I and Phase II trials for patients whose cancer has relapsed or is not responding to treatment. Our program includes:

      - Physicians with national leadership roles and expertise in ALL, AML, NHL and Hodgkin’s lymphoma

      - An interactive translational research program involving both innovative therapy in addition to examining molecular markers of potential targeted success

  • Solid Tumors

      Our Solid Tumor Program consists of medical and research professionals dedicated to treating solid tumors and developing new treatments and cures for the future. We care for approximately 125 newly diagnosed patients with these forms of cancer each year. Our solid tumor program:

      - Is one of the only programs in the Southeast offering therapeutic MIBG to patients with neuroblastoma.

      - Is one of the only programs in the Southeast with a coordinated, integrated team of pediatric specialists dedicated to the care of children with benign or malignant liver tumors.

      - Includes physicians with national leadership roles in the areas of neuroblastoma, hepatoblastoma, germ cell tumors and retinoblastoma.

      - Offers expertise in both rare tumors and adult-like cancers occurring in pediatric patients, with strong collaboration with our adult cancer center partner, the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

  • Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

      We have one of the largest pediatric brain tumor programs in the country, following more than 700 children and young adults with brain tumors each year. Our program features:

      - Advanced imaging and neurosurgery capabilities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) software and techniques, an intra-operative MRI (iMRI) system, positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, Gamma Knife technology, and stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy

      - One of the nation’s leading inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs

      - Innovative treatments for brain tumors through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Phase I Consortium and other multicenter-sponsored trials

      - Five principal investigators focused on medulloblastoma biology, making us one of the largest single center pediatric research groups assembled for this disease

      Additionally, we are a provisional member of the Children's Tumor Foundation's Neurofibromatosis Clinic Network with hopes a full affiliate status beginning in 2015. This will allow us to greatly expand our portfolio for clinical trial options for patients with NF1.


Video: Eric Shanteau: An Olympic Inspiration

Eric Shanteau: An Olympic InspirationView

Eric Shanteau, Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor, inspires patients at The Zone at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. He received his medal in the 4X100 meter medley relay in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.


Pediatric Cancer Facilities

Our facilities are designed to meet the unique medical and emotional needs of children and adolescents with cancer and blood disorders. We offer:

  • More than 50 dedicated inpatient rooms specially designed for immunosuppressed patients
  • 10 HEPA-filtered rooms for inpatient pediatric blood and marrow transplant (BMT) patients
  • Outpatient clinics with a full range of procedural, infusional and apheresis services
  • Dedicated diagnostic and laboratory services
  • Onsite oncology pharmacy
  • An MIBG treatment room