Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders
Akron Children's Hospital's specially trained and certified oncology staff treats a variety of pediatric cancers and offers a broad range of expertise in cancer and bleeding disorders. Studies have shown that the survival rates for infants, children, teens and young adults treated at a pediatric cancer center are greater than those at an adult hospital.
From the type of cancer to the cause, pediatric cancers are very different from adult cancers. And since they're relatively uncommon, it's important to have a dedicated oncology team whose members have spent their careers specializing in the care of all forms of childhood cancers. Studies have shown that the survival rates for infants, children, teens and young adults treated at a pediatric cancer center are greater than those at an adult hospital.
A Team Approach
It takes a team to diagnose and treat children, teens and young adults with cancer and bleeding or clotting disorders. Akron Children's Hospital's team includes board-certified pediatric hematologists-oncologists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified pediatric oncology nurses, pharmacists, clinical research associates, child life specialists, social workers, psychologists and educators.
The Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders also works closely with other specialty departments at Akron Children’s as needed, such as surgery, pathology, radiology, pain management, nutrition, adolescent medicine, physical therapy, palliative care and genetics.
On average, the Showers Family Center cares for 8 newly diagnosed children with cancer each month. The most common types of cancer are leukemia, brain and central nervous system cancers.
The Showers Family Center also actively participates in national clinical trials for childhood cancer and blood disorders and explores the causes and treatment of these diseases through our basic science research program.
As a member of Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the Showers Family Center participates in the development of National Cancer Institute-approved treatment protocols and offer the most up-to-date cancer therapies. The Showers Family Center program is one of only about a dozen pediatric cancer programs in the country verified by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
As a major teaching institution affiliated with Northeast Ohio Medical University, The Showers Family Center also trains future doctors who want to specialize in pediatric hematology-oncology through an accredited fellowship training program.
Matching A Patient With Treatment
For children and teens with high-risk tumors or cancers that have been unresponsive to standard treatment options, the Showers Family Center offers individualized therapies through the Shannon E. Wilkes Targeted Therapy Program. This form of medicine uses information about the genetic make-up of a patient's cancer to identify drugs or other treatments that block the growth and spread of cancer.
Targeted therapies are typically less harmful to normal cells than standard chemotherapy.