If your child needs treatment for cancer or a serious blood disorder, you’ve come to the right place.
No other healthcare provider in West Virginia can match the level of experience and expertise found at WVU Medicine Children’s.
Our Blood Disorders and Cancer Center is home to doctors, nurses, researchers, and other specialists who chose careers in pediatric hematology and oncology. We’re passionate about helping kids beat cancer, and we have the tools, therapies, and technology to do just that.
We also provide more than just the latest cancer treatments and clinical trials. We offer an abundance of support services to help your family get through this — and to help all our patients continue experiencing the joys of childhood.
Conditions We Treat
We treat all types of blood disorders and cancers. Some of the most common include:
- Aplastic anemia
- Bone and muscle cancers (sarcomas)
- Brain and spine tumors
- Clotting disorders
- Endocrine cancers, including thyroid cancer and adrenal gland tumors
- Hemolytic anemias
- Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP)
- Langerhan’s cell histiocytosis (LCH)
- Renal tumors
- Vascular malformations
- Von Willebrand disease
Complete, Collaborative Care
Studies have shown that patients with cancer and certain blood disorders do better when they have more than one type of treatment, and work with more than one expert. That’s how we work at WVU Medicine Children’s — we use a team approach; many specialists work together to care for your child.
Depending on the type of cancer or blood disorder your child has, the team of pediatric specialists may include:
- Cancer surgeons who remove tumors from the body
- Child-life specialists who help to normalize the hospital experience
- Child psychologists who help guide your child through the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of their disease
- Hematologists who diagnose and treat blood-related conditions
- Medical oncologists who prescribe chemotherapy or other medicines
- Nurses who are skilled in caring for these highly specialized patients
- Pathologists who look at tissue samples under a microscope to see if they contain cancer cells
- Radiation oncologists who coordinate radiation therapy treatments
- Radiologists who use imaging tests to see inside the body
- Rehabilitation professionals who help with recovery
- Social workers who can connect your family to support services and community resources
Treatments We Offer
Our team offers all of the latest cancer and blood disorder treatments approved by the Food & Drug Administration. Depending on your child’s diagnosis, they may need one or more of the following:
- Cellular therapies, including pathways to blood stem cell (bone marrow) transplants and CAR T-cell therapy.
- Medicine, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy drugs, or targeted therapy drugs.
- Radiation therapy, including Gamma knife radiosurgery and brachytherapy (internal radiation treatment).
- Surgery to remove a tumor. Whenever possible, our surgeons use less-invasive procedures that may help your child recover more quickly and with less pain. These minimally invasive approaches include robotic-assisted surgery and endoscopic skull-base surgery.
We understand that treatments can take a toll on your child’s physical health and emotional well-being. We work hard to ensure their treatment plan includes therapies that offer the most benefit with the fewest side effects.
Why Choose Our Blood Disorder and Cancer Center
When you trust your child’s health to WVU Medicine Children’s, you can take comfort knowing they are in capable and caring hands. Our Blood Disorder and Cancer Center is the preferred choice for many families throughout West Virginia and beyond because:
- We’re part of an international cancer research network: We are a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest organization devoted to pediatric cancer research. Our membership makes it easier for us to lead (or take part in) clinical trials — giving our patients early access to promising new cancer treatments.
- We can refer eligible patients for proton therapy: Our relationship with three regional proton therapy centers means children with certain tumors have access to one of the most advanced forms of radiation therapy available. Proton therapy is ideal for kids with brain or spine tumors or cancers near vital organs like the heart and lungs. It delivers radiation to targeted areas with precision, while sparing nearby healthy tissues from damage. This is an important benefit for children whose bodies are still developing.
- Our inpatient rooms are designed for kids, by kids: If your child needs to stay in the hospital during treatments, you’ll be happy to know our rooms were designed with kids and families in mind. When building our new children’s hospital, we asked current and former patients how we could make a hospital stay more comfortable and incorporated their ideas. The private rooms in our cancer unit offer conveniences such as small refrigerators and extra storage for personal belongings.
- Dogs are a kid’s best friend: Few things can turn a frown upside down more quickly than a therapy dog. Our furry friend, Rigatoni, spends her days visiting patients and their families. These interactions help decrease loneliness, anxiety, and stress while giving kids a chance to play.
- We provide opportunities for social interaction: Our spacious infusion room, where many children receive lengthy IV treatments, includes a communal space for kids and families to hang out. This allows our patients to interact with other children who are facing similar challenges. Learn more about our outpatient infusion center, located in the Medical Office Building.
- We offer innovation and inspiration: We were among the first hospitals in the U.S. to launch Connecting Champions, a program that provides mentorship and friendship to kids with cancer. Our on-site Connecting Champions coordinator matches patients with volunteer mentors who share similar interests — for example, pairing a child who dreams of being a firefighter with an actual firefighter. These mentors provide ongoing, in-person, or virtual social support.
- We encourage peer support: We also participate in Camp Winaca HemoVon, a residential camp for children with cancer or blood disorders. During this five-day experience, which takes place in Marlinton, West Virginia, children share their experiences and develop new friendships.
When a child has cancer or a chronic blood disease, it affects the whole family. We do everything we can to help your child cope with their condition and treatments. We also offer services to help make your visit or stay as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Our child and family resources include:
- Transportation services for families facing challenges that make it hard to travel to Morgantown.
- Access to overnight or extended-stay lodging at the nearby Ronald McDonald House.
- An on-site, state-certified teacher who provides educational support to kids in grades K-12. If your child is hospitalized during the school year, we can help them complete their assignments and send them to their teachers.