Children's Hospital Colorado
Center for cancer and blood disorders
Center for cancer and blood disorders

The Pediatric Oncology Program

If your child has received the difficult diagnosis of cancer, the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) at Children's Hospital Colorado is one of the nation’s best treatment centers for childhood and adolescent cancers.

A close up of a woman with long brown hair and white shirt listening with a stethoscope to a boy wearing a red shirt and blue hat.

With decades of pediatric expertise and comprehensive treatment, we provide nationally-ranked cancer care for your child – while supporting your family every step of the way.

What is cancer?

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells somewhere in the body. These cells can live in the bone marrow and blood (called leukemia), or they can form a solid mass or tumor, which can occur anywhere in the body. 

What is oncology?

Oncology is the field of medicine for diagnosing and treating cancer. Oncologists are doctors who provide treatments to stop abnormal cancer cells from growing and to eliminate them from the body, allowing the normal cells can continue to do their job.

Why choose Children’s Colorado for cancer care for your child?

Children’s Colorado has the largest Pediatric Oncology Program in the region and one of the 10 largest in the country. Our program is consistently ranked among the best programs in the country for treatment of pediatric cancer by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine.

We treat hundreds of children, adolescent and young adults every year with all different types of cancer. Our patients range in age from newborns to young adults in their mid-20s. 

About our team of cancer experts

Our group of physicians, all of whom are faculty members at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, includes pediatric oncologists and bone marrow transplant specialists; pediatric surgeons including specialists in neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, liver surgery and transplants, kidney surgery and transplants, eye surgery, bladder surgery, and orthopedic surgery; and pathologists and radiologists who help us diagnose tumors and perform all types of imaging studies. We also have one of the nation’s only radiation oncology physicians who spends all his time focused on treating childhood cancer.

Many of our doctors are recognized nationally and internationally as leaders in improving treatments and increasing cure rates for children and teenagers with cancer. We have specialized teams for patients with leukemia and lymphoma, solid tumors including bone tumors, and tumors of the brain and nervous system.  

Cures and hope for kids with cancer

The goal of treatment at the CCBD is to cure patients by eliminating the cancer, allowing children to lead a long and full life. Fortunately, about 80-85% of all children and adolescents who develop cancer will be cured, and these rates continue to increase.

Pediatric oncologists take great pride in the strides that have been made in the past few decades to dramatically improve cure rates for kids with cancer. These improvements are the result of many years of research into the causes for cancer and searches for the best treatments, together with the willingness of our brave patients to participate in treatment studies to help us learn more and continue to improve our cure rates. 

Research for a future without cancer

Whenever possible, we offer our patients the opportunity to participate in clinical research studies designed to improve cure rates and quality of life.  Our goal at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is to reach the day when we can say that all children with cancer can be cured.

We are a principal member of the Children’s Oncology Group, and a number of our physicians lead national and international treatment studies conducted by that group. We are dedicated to providing the best, most up-to-date care for our patients, while actively participating in the latest treatment protocols and collaborative research designed to improve our understanding of cancer and to develop better, more effective treatments.

What to expect from our cancer program

A pediatric oncologist at Children’s Colorado will direct and coordinate your child’s medical team, which involves many physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and other healthcare providers. Treatment usually includes medicines that kill cancer cells, known as chemotherapy. Pediatric oncologists work together with other specialist physicians, such as surgeons or radiation oncologists, to coordinate surgery or radiation as part of the treatment plan when needed.  

All of our patients have a primary physician who directs all aspects of their cancer care and a primary nurse who is the main point of contact. All patients in our inpatient unit have private rooms with private bathrooms and beds for parents to sleep in the room with your child. Our outpatient unit and infusion center are located immediately adjacent to our inpatient unit.

To make sure patients spend as little time in the hospital as possible, we provide outpatient chemotherapy and infusion services Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (longer when needed) and outpatient chemotherapy and infusion services on the weekend when needed.

Read about our state-of-the-art facility.

Support for cancer survivors

More than 25 years ago, Children’s Colorado developed a follow-up clinic called the HOPE Survivorship Program, which provides long-term follow-up care to children and teenagers cured of cancer. We also developed the TACTIC Clinic, in conjunction with the University of Colorado Hospital, to provide care to pediatric cancer survivors after they become adults.

Learn how our Wellness Program helps patients and families cope with the stress of cancer.

New cancer treatments and end-of-life care

Standard treatments for cancer don’t always work. For children and adolescents facing this challenge, Children’s Colorado has one of the few pediatric Experimental Therapeutics Programs in the country that offers new treatments.

Learn more about our child oncology services and clinics.