• Kidney Tumor Program

    Kidney Tumor Program Banner

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Boston, Massachusetts, treats all kidney (renal) tumors occurring in children and young adults, including:

    Our kidney tumor specialists and surgeons are known for treating children with the most complex cases, as well as for their expertise in delivering specialized treatments, including stem cell transplantation

    How We Treat Kidney Tumors

    Through Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s, children with kidney tumors receive treatment at both Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital. Our cancer specialists from Dana-Farber work closely with the pediatric experts at Boston Children's to ensure every aspect of your child's health is overseen before, during, and after their treatment.

    • Your child’s core care team will include a pediatric oncologist, surgeon, radiologist, and radiation oncologist who work together to manage your child’s care.
    • Our pediatric surgeons are nationally recognized for expertly removing cancerous tumors.
    • In some special circumstances, our interventional pediatric radiologists have used minimally invasive radio frequency ablation instead of radiation therapy to kill tumors.
    • Our pediatric radiation oncologists are involved in studies of how to avoid radiation therapy when possible, and when radiation is needed, to minimize the dose and field of radiation.
    • Long-term treatment and childhood cancer survivor support is provided through the David B. Perini Jr. Quality of Life Clinic.

    Our Kidney Tumor Specialists

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children's patients have access to the broadest set of pediatric and oncologic expertise available. The breadth of our expertise allows us to assemble a team of specialists to meet the specific needs of each patient.

    At the core of the treatment team is a medical oncologist who specializes in treating kidney tumors. Many of our physicians are also active researchers, so our patients have access to the very best and up-to-date treatments available.

    Your child’s treatment team will include:

    • pediatric oncologists with expertise in the treatment of kidney tumors
    • pediatric surgeons
    • pediatric radiologists
    • pathologists
    • radiotherapists
    • experienced nursing staff

    Other key members of the treatment team include experts who help the child prepare for life during and after treatment including psychiatrists and psychologists, child life specialists, social workers, nutritionists, and school specialists.

    Kidney Tumor Research and Clinical Trials

    Members of our Kidney Tumor Program also oversee laboratory and clinical research designed to improve understanding and treatment of childhood kidney tumors.

    Because Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is the regional Phase I center for the Children's Oncology Group, a collaborative research organization dedicated to improving the treatment of childhood cancers, our center offers treatments unavailable at other regional institutions. We also collaborate with other pediatric centers across the country to offer unique treatment options.

    Our current research includes:

    • Identifying the best treatment for Wilms tumor — Major advancements have occurred in treatment of Wilms tumor over the last two decades, primarily because of studies by the National Wilms Tumor Study Group, of which Dana-Farber/Boston Children's was a member. These studies have rigorously compared treatment regimens and helped define the right treatment for each stage and type of Wilms tumor. In one large study, it was shown for low stage Wilms tumor that briefer courses of therapy were safer and as effective as longer courses.
    • Risk-stratifying treatment of children with bilateral tumors — The traditional treatment for pediatric kidney tumors is a two-step process: Surgeons remove as much of the tumor as possible, then oncologists use chemotherapy to kill remaining cancerous cells. If the tumor is bilateral (appearing in both kidneys), chemotherapy is sometimes also used before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor. Our researchers are investigating the use of continuous pathological review throughout treatment to evaluate the best therapeutic approach for bilateral pediatric kidney tumors.
    • Searching for markers — Researchers are conducting studies to better understand how to diagnose and treat renal (kidney) tumors. For example, researchers at our center are investigating whether kidney tumors emit markers in a child’s urine. If discovered, these markers could be used to screen for early recurrence of relapsed cancers. They may also help clinicians screen types of tumors up front, so treatments are personalized to the exact make up of a child’s tumor.

    Our researchers are also global leaders in the basic and translational study of rhabdoid tumors, including malignant rhabdoid tumor and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor. Their goal: to understand the biological basis of rhabdoid tumors, including the role(s) of mutations in the gene, SMARCB1, and to develop more effective treatment methods for children with these tumors.

    In addition, we have a phase I clinical trial open for children with refractory or relapsed malignant rhabdoid tumor, as well as access to any tumor trials available through the Children's Oncology Group.

  • Solid Tumor Clinical Trials

    Through research and clinical trials, we are developing innovative therapies and helping to improve treatment for solid tumors.callout bg
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