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Texas Oncology’s Pediatric Oncology Practice

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Based at Medical City Hospital in Dallas, the Texas Oncology – Pediatric Hematology and Oncology program was conceived by a team of pediatric specialists committed to providing the highest level of care for children with cancer and blood disorders. Treating the tiniest of newborns to adolescents up to age 21, the center offers a multi-disciplinary team approach to patient care led by three board certified pediatric oncologists: Dr. Carl LenarskyDr. Joel Weinthal, and Dr. Stanton Goldman.

The team also includes pediatric specialists in surgery, radiology, nursing, social work, pharmacy, physical therapy, and child development working together in the child’s best interest. Weekly meetings are held to discuss each patient and family to address problems, ascertain progress, and produce the most effective treatment plan. Support groups for teenagers, siblings, and parents meet on a regular basis to discuss common problems and to explore feelings associated with the diagnosis of cancer. The team also serves Odessa and Mt. Pleasant.

Pediatric Cancer is Different. There are significant differences in treating children and adults with cancer. Texas Oncology physicians can usually treat children more aggressively than adults because they are healthier and stronger. Often drugs that may not work for adults with cancer are very successful in treating children. Many drugs given to patients with pediatric cancer are experimental treatments not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As part of the Children’s Oncology Group, an initiative funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health founded exclusively to conduct clinical trials for children and adolescents with cancer, Texas Oncology physicians have access to state-of-the-art therapies for treating their patients.

Transplants. Texas Oncology – Pediatric Hematology and Oncology physicians perform five to 10 cord blood transplants every year. Doctors Lenarsky, Weinthal, and Goldman specialize in stem cell transplantation. Dr. Lenarsky is the director of pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatric stem cell transplantation for Texas Oncology. Dr. Weinthal is the director of the Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory at Medical City Hospital in Dallas. Since 1995, Texas Oncology pediatric oncologists have performed approximately 50 cord blood transplants for many types of leukemia, immune diseases, sickle cell disease, and other types of childhood cancer.

Cord blood transplants have been successful in treating several forms of childhood cancer. Texas Oncology pediatric oncologists also helped found the Texas Cord Blood Bank in San Antonio.  This public bank currently has 1,500 to 2,000 cords available for cord blood transplants for patients throughout the world.

Research. The team participates in ongoing pediatric oncology and hematology research. From 1998-2006, Texas Oncology pediatric oncologists participated in The Cord Blood Transplantation Study funded with a grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health. The purpose of this wide-ranging study was to determine if unrelated umbilical cord blood is a useful source for stem cells and hematopoietic reconstitution. Several other transplant centers and cord blood banks took part in the study.

The Texas Oncology – Pediatric Hematology and Oncology physicians work as a consultative team and work with other healthcare providers to develop treatment plans, evaluate progress, and determine a child’s best options. They offer medical guidance, helping families make decisions along the way. They also connect families with the best supportive services for educational, psychological, emotional, financial, and nutritional needs.

For more information, go to www.TexasOncology.com or call 888-864-I CAN (4226).

Updated 01/28/2008