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Serious conditions need serious care

The cancer and blood disorders team at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has the training, knowledge and technology to treat a wide range of conditions. Nearly 900 children are admitted annually as inpatients to the Jim and Colleen Ryan Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children's – Minneapolis, making us the largest program in the Upper Midwest. And while we're known as a leader and innovator in the field of pediatric cancer and blood disorder treatment, we never forget that each patient is someone's child. Compassion always factors into our approach. We are on the journey with you, because we believe that better journeys lead to better outcomes.

We treat kids with serious medical conditions and we're known for aggressive management of pain and side effects through our interdisciplinary pain program, one of the largest and longest running in the nation.

Our vast experience isn't the only thing that helps us to stand apart, though. Here's more on what makes us special:

  • Convenient care to make you more comfortable. No one likes long car rides back and forth to the hospital or clinic. Our Care Closer to Home program allows your child to be treated closer to home whenever possible. 
  • Advancing the understanding of rare tumors. Children’s is a leader in clinical research for rare diseases and home of the International Pleuropulmonary Blastoma Registry and the International Ovarian and Testicular Stromal Tumor Registry.
  • An all-access pass to leading technology. Children's is the only pediatric hospital in the Midwest using Visualase, an ultra-precise, MRI-guided laser system for brain tumor and epilepsy surgeries. This high-tech approach minimizes pain and speeds healing. Most kids are home within 24 hours. (See a story about a little boy who underwent surgery with Visualase here.) 
  • An ear to the ground and an eye on the future. Nearly 90 percent of our eligible patients participate in clinical trials. If a new, effective treatment is on the horizon, we're among the first to know about it. We have the largest group of clinical research staff in the region and we focus on research and innovations that make a difference at the bedside. Read more about Clinical Trials and Treatment studies available here.
  • Emphasis on preserving fertility. Preserving fertility in teens and young adults receiving chemotherapy, radiation or surgery is an important part of their quality of life and hope for the future.
  • Mixing methods to master cancer care. There's rarely one right treatment plan with an illness as complex as cancer. Evidence-based complementary medicine therapies are coupled with high-tech treatment when desired, giving patients the best of both treatment options.

Cancer: We'll do our best to prepare you

Read on to learn more about our cancer program and the conditions and services we're experts in treating.

Leukemia & lymphoma program - Our experts provide care for children with leukemia or lymphoma, either newly diagnosed or recurring or relapsed disease.

Brain and spinal cord tumor program — Tumors in the central nervous system, including brain and spinal cord

Solid tumor program - The solid tumor cancer program at Children's is one of the largest of its kind in the Upper Midwest. We diagnose and treat children with all types of solid tumors.

Head and neck cancers program  Cancers of the throat, mouth, salivary glands, sinuses, thyroid gland, tongue and tonsil

Adolescent and young adult oncology program - Education, monitoring, care and support to teens and young adults with all forms of cancer. 

Long-term follow-up clinical care - Care available for anyone who recieved cancer treatment - anywhere - as a child. Our goal is to keep survivors of cancer healthy and to educate them about their health risks.

Rare tumors - Individualized treatment of children and adolescents diagnosed with a rare tumor, using the expertise of our specialists in addition to consultation with other experts around the world. 

Hereditary cancer program - Our oncologists and genetic counselors offer testing and counseling to children diagnosed with cancer as well as those whose family history indicate they may be at risk for developing cancer. 

Integrative cancer care - We care for more than just our patient's physical well-being: we care for body, mind and spirit. We combine the best of complemtarly and conventional medicine therapies to help kids heal.

Learn more about our clinical and diagnostic cancer services.

Blood disorders: Providing expertise

Children's houses the largest pediatric blood disorders program in Minnesota, and we treat more than 60 percent of Minnesota children and teens with blood disorders. That puts us in a unique position to deliver the latest treatments your child needs and provide information and support to your entire family.

What sets us apart in blood disorders care

When a child in Minnesota has a bleeding disorder, he or she is more likely to be seen by us than any other facility. Our blood disorders experts know their stuff — in fact, they provide more than 500 consultations every year, directly using their experience and knowledge to improve the quality of life of some pretty cool kids.

Here's more on what makes us special:

  • A one-of-a-kind facility. Children's C.H. Robinson Infusion Center, which treats patients with cancer, blood disorders and other conditions, is the largest of its kind in the state, with 12 private rooms and more than 5,000 outpatient visits each year. All of our clinic and hospital rooms are private and spacious enough to accommodate the patient, family and care team.
  • We've seen it all. We treat more than 1,000 Minnesota children and teens with blood disorders each year, including more than 83 percent of children and teens with sickle cell disease or hemoglobinopathies, and more than 80 percent of children and teens in Minnesota with a hemophilia diagnosis.
  • Top-of-the-line blood disorder care. Our Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders is the only federally funded program in the region, which ensures comprehensive care for patients. Our interdisciplinary pain and integrative medicine programs are known for being aggressive about preventing pain and side effects.
  • Special care for young women. We have the only teen hematology and gynecology program in Minnesota, offering care to young women with bleeding disorders by both pediatric hematologists and the state's only two pediatric gynecologists.

We treat blood disorders of all types, including those listed below:

Children's Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders 

  • Blood clots — Clumps of protein that develop when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid
  • Factor V Leiden — An inherited blood condition that causes the blood to clot more readily
  • Hemophilia — Inherited condition in which blood doesn't clot normally
  • Hemophilia carrier — A female who carries a genetic change for hemophilia and may experience bleeding problems
  • Hemostasis disorders — When a person's hemostatic system, which stops the bleeding when a blood vessel is broken, doesn't work properly
  • Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) — A platelet disorder in which the body produces antibodies that bind with platelets (cells that help the blood clot); the platelet-antibody complex is then destroyed in the spleen or liver
  • Platelet disorders — Abnormalities in platelets, blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow
  • Prothrombin gene mutations — An inherited condition that increases a person's chance of forming blood clots
  • Thrombocytosis — A disorder in which too many platelets are formed
  • Thrombophilia, including problems caused by Factor V Leiden and prothrombin 20210 gene variant — Forming blood clots too easily, when they're not needed
  • Thrombosis — The formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel
  • Von Willebrand disease — Bleeding disorder caused by a defect or deficiency of a blood-clotting protein

Hemoglobinopathy and sickle cell program

  • Aplastic anemia — When the bone marrow in the center of the bone does not make enough healthy blood cells for the body to function normally
  • Chronic anemia — A blood disorder where there aren't enough red blood cells or hemoglobin in the red blood cells
  • G6PD deficiency — An inherited condition in which there isn't enough of the enzyme G6PD, which helps red blood cells act normally
  • Hemolytic anemia — When the body is unable to replace destroyed red blood cells fast enough
  • Hereditary spherocytosis — Anemia caused by a defect in the protein that gives red blood cells a different shape, which causes them to break down more quickly
  • Iron-deficiency anemia — A lack of iron that results in not producing enough hemoglobin, which is needed to carry oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis — A condition in which certain white blood cells, called Langerhans cells, grow at such a rapid rate that they can damage the body instead of helping it
  • Megaloblastic anemia — Anemia with larger-than-normal red blood cells
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency — An inherited condition in which there's not enough of the enzyme pyruvate kinase; without the enzyme, red blood cells break down too easily
  • Red blood cell disorders — Disorders that affect the red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs all throughout the body
  • Sickle cell disease — Red blood cells shaped like a "C" that don't move easily through small blood vessels
  • Thalassemia — An inherited blood disorder passed from a parent's genes to their children; can be alpha or beta thalassemia
  • Transient erythroblastopenia of childhood (TEC) — A type of anemia that temporarily affects children
  • White blood cell disorders — Disorders that affect the white blood cells, which help the body fight off infections

Teen hematology and gynecology program

  • Hemophilia carrier — A female who carries a genetic change for hemophilia and may experience bleeding problems
  • Von Willebrand disease — Bleeding disorder caused by a defect or deficiency of a blood-clotting protein

Vascular Anomalies Center

  • Arteriovenous malformations — Defects of the circulatory system that involve abnormal connections between arteries and veins
  • Capillary malformations — Malformations that appear as dark red, flat areas on the skin and usually don't require treatment
  • Hemangioendotheliomas — A condition of the blood vessels in which a growth can occur in the bones, skin, liver, lymph nodes, lungs or soft tissues of the body
  • Hemangiomas — A noncancerous tumor of the cells that line blood vessels
  • Kasabach-Merritt syndrome — A rare condition involving underdeveloped blood vessels that form a large growth that can interfere with blood clotting
  • Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome — A rare condition children are born with that involves the blood vessels, lymphatic system and surrounding tissues; it can cause swollen veins and enlarged limbs, among other complications
  • Lymphatic malformations — Involves enlarged or abnormal lymph (the fluid that carries white blood cells) glands, which can interfere with the lymph system in the body and change the appearance of the surface of the skin
  • Midline venular malformations — Flat, pink blotches that are most commonly found on the upper eyelids, forehead, eyebrows and back of the neck
  • Sturge-Weber syndrome — The most common problem for people with this syndrome is cysts or tumors composed of blood vessels
  • Telangiectatic nevi — Small areas of discoloration on newborns, often called "angel kisses" or "stork bites"
  • Venous malformations — An area of malformed veins on the surface of the skin or reaching into deeper structures in the body
  • Venular malformations — Red or pink birthmarks, sometimes called port wine stains

Bone marrow failure program

  • Aplastic anemia — When the bone marrow in the center of the bone does not make enough healthy blood cells for the body to function normally
  • Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (CAMT) — When the blood-producing cells located in the bone marrow do not work as they should
  • Cyclic neutropenia — Recurrent episodes of neutropenia, a decrease in the number of white blood cells
  • Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) — A bone marrow failure syndrome in which not enough red blood cells are produced
  • Dyskeratosis congenita — An inherited disorder that can lead to bone marrow failure, some cancers and pulmonary problems
  • Fanconi anemia — An inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure
  • Hypoproliferative anemia — When the body doesn't make enough of a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO), which controls the production of red blood cells, or bone marrow doesn't respond to EPO in the right way
  • Neutropenia — When the number of a certain type of white blood cell in the body is abnormally low
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) — A rare, acquired, potentially life-threatening disease of the blood that's marked by hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia and blood clots
  • Severe congenital neutropenia — Very low white blood cell counts caused by problems with bone marrow
  • Shwachman-Diamond syndrome — Low white blood cells, poor food absorption and problems with bones due to bone marrow failure
  • Sideroblastic anemia — A group of disorders where the bone marrow does not make enough red blood cells to provide oxygen to tissues
  • Thrombocytopenia, congenital or acquired — A condition in which blood has too few platelets, which are needed for blood clotting
  • Thrombocytopenia absent radii (TAR) — Children with TAR have decreased production of platelets (the cells that help the blood to clot) and are missing one of the two bones from each lower arm, called the radius
Learn more about our clinical and diagnostic blood disorders services. 


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