Solid tumors

If your child has been diagnosed with a tumor, you need answers to your questions, and you need hope. UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital blends academic medical expertise and compassionate care to guide you and your child every step of the way.

We have the region’s most comprehensive treatment for solid tumors, including clinical trials and the latest techniques in academic medicine.

Our patient-centered teams focus on making your child whole again, with child-friendly treatment and therapy, post-treatment services, and recovery.

Solid tumors we treat

There are many different types of solid tumors, and many of these can affect children differently than adults. Treatments are often unique based on the patient and the type of disease. The experience of the solid tumor team extends beyond identifying and diagnosing these conditions and into treating and survivorship. We’ll find the right treatment that fits your child’s needs.

Brain, spine, and neurological tumors

When treating a child diagnosed with a brain, spine, or other neurological tumor such as neuroblastoma, we work closely with the neuro-oncology team to treat your child’s tumor in the most comprehensive way possible.

Carcinomas

Carcinomas begin on the lining of organs or other tissues. Melanoma, the most common skin cancer in children, is found on the skin. Adrenocortical carcinoma occurs on the outer layer of the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys. Ovarian carcinomas typically affect older women but may form in the teenage years as well.

Kidney cancers

While most kidney cancer is rare in children, Wilm’s tumor, or nephroblastoma, is the most common. This tumor can occur in one or both kidneys. Other kidney tumors include rhabdoid tumor of the kidney and clear cell sarcoma of the kidney.

Liver cancers

Liver cancer is generally rare in children. Hepatoblastoma, a rare cancer which begins in liver cells, affects young children from infancy through about age three.

Sarcomas

Sarcomas are tumors that begin in the bones or soft tissues. Ewing sarcoma and myosarcoma occur in bones and muscles. Osteosarcoma affects the cells which form bones, while rhabdomyosarcoma occurs in the cells that ultimately form muscle.

Other solid tumors

While less common in children, other solid tumors, including testicular or ovarian tumors, can occur. We work closely with adult and pediatric specialists to provide the best care for your child.

Treatments and services

From diagnosis through recovery, your child’s care team will work with you to find the best treatment plan that supports your child’s needs.

Screenings and biopsies

Your child’s care team collaborates closely with interventional radiology and pediatric surgery, including pediatric anesthesiologists, to complete any needed biopsies. These procedures help your care team understand the tumor, its staging, and the best treatment.

Medication and chemotherapy

Many tumors and cancers require treatment through chemotherapy and other medicines. At UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, children can receive chemotherapy as an inpatient or outpatient. Physicians use a minimally invasive central venous line, which means your child does not have to undergo a needle injection every time an IV placement is needed.

Radiation therapy

For children, radiation therapy is very precise and done in small doses and completed in collaboration with radiation oncologists. For young children, pediatric anesthesiologists are available to provide sedation. Treatment lasts less than an hour per day for older children, and half a day for younger kids.

Surgery

Surgery is often part of a treatment plan for children with solid tumors. All surgeries are completed by pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists.

Recovery

We know how eager your child is to get back to normal activities. Your child’s care team works closely with orthopedics, physical therapy, and occupational therapy throughout recovery to make sure your child can keep moving and stay active. Nutrition experts, social workers, and behavioral health professionals also work to provide the recovery tools your child needs.

Survivorship

We know that you and your child may continue to need support even at the end of cancer treatment. But our treatment doesn’t end there. That’s why the survivorship program is built to care for your child throughout life. We’ll continue to screen for cancer over a period of yearsand monitor for side effects of treatment. We also provide social support for your child and your family.

Why choose UI Stead Family Children's Hospital?

Clinical trials

Your child deserves the most advanced care. We’re the region’s only pediatric academic medical center, with physicians and researchers who work every day to find innovative treatments for your child’s illness. For example, the solid tumor program has a laboratory dedicated to finding better ways to treat sarcomas. Your child benefits through access to the latest clinical trials, such as new therapies for Ewing sarcoma and bone tumors. All open clinical trials are found on the clinical trials website.

A multidisciplinary approach 

We understand that solid tumors can touch many different aspects of your child’s health. That’s why we bring together a multidisciplinary team to treat your child that can include experts in neuro-oncology, pediatric surgery, radiation oncology, genetics, and reproductive endocrinology, supported by a team of nurses, therapists, social workers, and mental health specialists.

Resources for you

Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program

Cancer treatment is a unique challenge for a teenager or young adult. The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program is a joint program between the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center that addresses the individual needs of this older group of patients.

Learn how Parker was able to beat Ewing sarcoma with the help of his care team

The diagnosis of a solid tumor can mean a complicated treatment for your child. Parker had the full support of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Health library

Understanding your child’s health is important. The UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital health library can answer some of the most common health questions parents have.

Patient Stories

  • Parker Kress

    Parker Kress portrait In December 2014, then-13-year-old Parker Kress was experiencing pain in his right ankle and swelling in his calf. He was taken to a local emergency room, where an ultrasound found a mass on his ankle.Read more