Oncology

Our Pediatric Blood & Cancer Center is recognized as one of the most comprehensive children’s cancer centers in San Antonio and South Texas. Consistently ranked among the best hospitals in the Texas and San Antonio region by U.S. News & World Report, University Hospital is staffed with pediatric oncologists and other pediatric physician specialists around the clock.

Our team at the Pediatric Blood & Cancer Center diagnose and treat all types of pediatric leukemia and lymphoma. Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells and make up the most common cancer diagnosed in children and young adults. These cancerous blood cells form and crowd out the healthy blood cells in the bone marrow. Lymphoma is a cancer of the blood cells that begins in cells of the lymph system. The lymph system is part of the immune system, which helps the body fight infection and disease. Lymph tissue is found throughout the body, so lymphoma can begin almost anywhere.

The main types of leukemia and lymphoma include:

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

About 30 percent of pediatric cancers are made up of tumors and cancers of solid organs. The most common types of solid tumors in children are:

  • Hepatoblastoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Wilms’ tumor
  • Osteosarcoma

Our team at the South Texas Pediatric Blood & Cancer Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating solid tumors that include:

  • Surgery
  • Interventional radiology
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

Brain and spinal cord tumors are growths of abnormal cells in tissues of the brain or spinal cord. These tumors can grow and press on nearby areas of the brain or spread into other parts of the brain. Signs and symptoms of brain and spinal cord tumors depend on:

  • Location of the tumor
  • Size of the tumor
  • How fast the tumor is growing
  • Age of the child

Our team at the Pediatric Blood & Cancer Center takes the child’s whole health into consideration when treating brain and spinal cord tumors. We collaborate with other UT Health San Antonio pediatric specialists – such as neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons – to collectively develop the best individual treatment plan for every child.

Histiocytosis, or Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), is a rare disorder that begins in the LCH cells. LCH cells can grow in many different parts of the body and damage tissue or form lesions. Depending on the extent of the disease, LCH is often treated with chemotherapy and steroids to suppress the function of the immune system and the production of histiocytes. The length of treatment will vary from child to child. Many patients are eligible for international as well as local institutional trials. As new types of therapies are being developed, many patients may be eligible for international as well as local institutional trials.

The Pediatric Blood & Cancer Center survivorship program offers cancer survivors, family members, friends and caregivers resources for the cancer survivor’s long-term health.

Research shows a number of potential health problems, called late effects, of cancer survivors can occur, such as:

  • Premature menopause
  • Infertility
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Second cancers

As a leader in pediatric cancer research, our physicians actively engage in ongoing research studies to reduce the number of late effects in cancer survivors.

Children with an increased risk of developing cancer due to hereditary factors may benefit from cancer genetic screening. Our cancer screening and prevention program is a partnership between University Health System, UT Medicine San Antonio and the UT Cancer Center. Together, we offer comprehensive care risk assessments and risk reduction strategies to those who are found to have a higher risk for cancer due to hereditary or genetic factors.

Services provided include:

  • Detailed genetic evaluations, including a review of family history and risk assessment
  • Genetic testing and a thorough explanation of test results
  • Personalized cancer screening recommendations
  • Up-to-date information on research opportunities in cancer treatment

Adolescents and young adults have different needs and challenges from children and older adults with cancer. Research has also found that young adults with certain types of cancers such as brain tumors, leukemia, osteosarcoma, and Ewing sarcoma may have better outcomes if treated within a pediatric rather than adult cancer center.

Our team provides the expertise in oncology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, psychiatry and behavioral medicine, and social work to best meet the needs of these patients.

Our pediatric oncologists team up with the UT Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to offer children and young adults with cancer a fertility preservation plan. From a sperm freezing program for boys, to egg freezing protocols for girls, we help children preserve hope for having a family after cancer. Our services include:

  • Sperm freezing & storage
  • Egg freezing & storage
  • Hormonal suppression
  • Premature ovarian insufficiency survivorship support
  • Abnormal hormones survivorship support