What We Treat

At the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, our team is highly skilled and experienced in treating children and young adults with all forms of cancer and blood disorders—from the most common to those rarely seen outside of the top pediatric centers. We treat:

Cancers

Blood disorders

  • Hemophilia
  • Thrombosis
  • Other coagulation and bleeding disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Bone marrow failure syndromes
  • Other red blood cell disorders, including acute and chronic anemia
  • White blood cell disorders

Services We Offer

Comprehensive programs

  • Cancer Program: We are home to one of the top 10 childhood cancer centers in the country. We have doctors who are skilled in treating all forms of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors and solid tumors. Our cancer survivor program helps survivors and their families get the help and resources they need.
  • Blood Disorders Program: We care for more than 2,500 children with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders each year. This includes more than 1,700 children with sickle cell—making us the largest pediatric sickle cell program in the country.
  • Blood and Marrow Transplant Program: As one of the top pediatric BMT programs in the country, we provide expertise in autologous and allogeneic transplants. We are a national leader in transplanting children with sickle cell disease—we have cured more than 55 children.
  • Developmental Therapeutics Program: Our team focuses on the discovery and creation of new treatments for children with cancer and blood disorders. Our goal is to provide every opportunity for a child to be cured of his disease.

Innovative research

The Aflac Cancer Center is committed to excellence and innovation in pediatric cancer and blood disorders research. We are home to one of the largest clinical trial programs in the country—offering our patients access to some of the most novel treatment options in the country.

Find a clinical trial

Clinical trial highlights

MacDonald leads first-in-pediatrics brain tumor trial

Tobey MacDonald, M.D., Director of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center’s Neuro-Oncology Program, helped to initiate the “first in child” clinical investigation of Indoximod (immunotherapy targeting the IDO immune checkpoint pathway) for the treatment of children with all types of refractory brain tumors. He is also one of 8 members on the NIH Brain Malignancies Steering Committee and a member of the FDA Pediatric Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee, which work together to help to shape the future direction of national clinical trials for pediatric brain tumors. Dr. MacDonald was recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2016 as a top pediatric oncologist in the country.

Learn more about Tobey MacDonald, M.D.

Qayed leads trial using mesenchymal stromal cells from bone marrow

Bone marrow transplantation is performed in some patients with cancers of the blood or bone marrow, as well as in some patients with sickle cell disease, thalassemia, aplastic anemia and other disorders of the immune system. Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) is life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplantation in which donor immune lymphocytes attack the organs of the bone marrow transplant recipient. Symptoms of GVHD disease include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, skin rash and liver damage. Additionally, chronic GVHD can affect the joints and lungs, among other organs. Available therapies designed to suppress GVHD do not work in everyone. For patients with GVHD who do not respond to first-line therapy, there is no reliable cure, and GVHD can be life-threatening or a life-long disabling condition. The frequency of GVHD after bone marrow transplantation is high, highlighting the need for new therapies.

The current clinical trial uses mesenchymal stromal cells from the bone marrow. These cells have been studied more recently for treatment of a wide array of diseases, including autoimmune diseases. They have appealing properties that help with modulating the immune system and promoting wound healing. In most other studies, the cells are obtained from a donor (not the patient), they are frozen after preparation and are infused immediately after thawing. The personalized cells in this trial are derived from the patient's own bone marrow rather than using another person's, making the product more likely to be effective. Physician-researchers at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University harvest bone marrow cells from children and adults (12 to 65 years) with GVHD.

The team manufactures these cells without using animal products, in the Emory Personalized Immunotherapy Center (EPIC), a dedicated pharmaceutical grade facility located within Emory University Hospital, and the cells are delivered fresh and living to the patient. By infusing large doses of these personalized bone marrow cells into bone marrow transplant recipients, the physician-researchers aim to target sites of inflammation, potentially reducing GVHD in the intestine, liver and skin and limiting long-term organ damage.

Muna Qayed, M.D., MSc. is a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and an assistant professor at Emory School of Medicine. Dr. Qayed leads the clinical trial, which is offered only in Atlanta and is supported by CURE Childhood Cancer.

Learn more about Emory Personalized Immunotherapy Center (EPIC)

Learn more about CURE Childhood Cancer


Our Unique Approach

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is one of the leading pediatric cancer and blood disorders programs in the country. Combining the latest proven technology and research with a caring, child-friendly approach, makes the Aflac Cancer Center a top choice for the treatment of common and complex conditions.

Learn more about what makes Children's special


Meet the Team

Meet our Cancer and Blood Disorders team

Helpful Resources

New patient forms

Request a new patient appointment

Before your visit

Learn how to prepare for your visit to the Aflac Cancer Center, including information about our transitional housing options for families traveling from outside of Atlanta.

Get information and tips

Camps, events and support groups

Camps, retreats and other events offer many therapeutic benefits for children and families who are dealing with serious illness.

Camps, events and support groups

Second opinions and international services

We understand you want to be certain your child is receiving the best possible treatment available anywhere in the world. Second opinions can help provide the information you need to make an informed decision about the treatment for your child. For families traveling outside the U.S., we are here to help meet your unique needs and challenges.

Learn more about our second opinion services

Learn more about our international services

Donate

Learn how you can help make a difference in the life of a child battling cancer or a blood disorder.

Join the fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders

Learn more about how Aflac supports us

Locations

Egleston hospital

1405 Clifton Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30322-1062

Hughes Spalding hospital

35 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE

Atlanta, GA 30303

Scottish Rite hospital

1001 Johnson Ferry Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30342-1605

Children's Medical Office Building at Scottish Rite hospital

5461 Meridian Mark Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30342-1654