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Why St. Jude for your child's solid tumor treatment?


Our experienced team of physicians and researchers have dedicated their careers to finding cures for children with solid tumors.


When your child is sick, you want the best care team, technology and treatment options possible.

Improved survival rates

Decades of research and treatment of solid tumors at St. Jude have helped increase the survival rates of children with solid tumors. Learn more about the tumors we treat and our innovative clinical trials.

Our expertise means we treat the toughest solid tumor cases

Our solid tumor expertise includes:

  • RetinoblastomaSt. Jude has one of the largest treatment teams dedicated to treating the rare and highly curable eye tumor called retinoblastoma. St. Jude researchers were the first to publish a detailed genetic analysis of retinoblastoma. This means we have a detailed map of the genes of the tumor. This research may be used to develop new retinoblastoma treatments.
  • Rare cancers: St. Jude specializes in the treatment of rare but devastating childhood cancers. These include:
    • Melanoma: St. Jude has researched malignant melanoma in children for more than 20 years. We have led the use of several new diagnosis and treatment strategies for melanoma during that time, including:
      • Sentinel node biopsy — this is a surgery that can help doctors understand how much the cancer has spread in a child’s body, and what treatment would be best.
      • Pegylated interferon — this is a medicine that helps your children’s immune systems destroy tumors. Doctors now use this medicine across the country based on the specific needs of the patient.
    • Adrenocortical carcinoma: In 1990, St. Jude developed the International Pediatric Adrenocortical Tumor Registry (IPACTR). IPACTR provides a central place to store and share data and tumor samples. Information from this registry helps scientists understand adrenocortical tumors and their risks and outcomes. It also helps doctors determine the best ways to treat these tumors.
    • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Cancer neck surgery in children requires expertise to avoid damage to important nerves that may lead to weakness, numbness, or problems with speech or swallowing. The expertise and experience of St. Jude surgeons helps improve patients’ chances for best outcomes. This includes expert care before, during and after surgery to manage potential hormone changes as tumors or glands are removed.
  • Soft-tissue sarcoma: The St. Jude Solid Tumor Team has identified key features of soft-tissue sarcomas that help predict which patients are at risk for their disease to return or spread to other parts of their body. These findings led to the development of a national study that will define which patients may benefit from additional treatments after surgery, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. 

Exceptional care from solid tumor experts

When your child comes to St. Jude for solid tumor treatment, your family will have a team of medical experts, all dedicated to your child’s treatment and care. One doctor will oversee the team, and your child’s care.

This doctor will meet regularly with your child’s treatment team. Your child’s team may include:

  • Radiation oncologists
  • Surgeons
  • Pathologists 
  • Other specialists such as ophthalmologists (eye specialists), physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and radiologists

Together, the team will decide the right combination of treatments for your child.

Specialized surgeons for solid tumors

Treatment for most solid tumors starts with surgery. The expert skills and experience of St. Jude specialty surgeons can help improve patients’ chances for best outcomes.

St. Jude has surgeons covering nine specialties.

  • Limb-preserving surgery for osteosarcomasSt. Jude surgeons specialize in techniques to spare limbs and encourage healthy bone to grow. Our team has also pioneered new imaging techniques to understand how osteosarcomas respond to treatment and monitor where cancer may have spread.
  • Kidney-preserving surgery for bilateral Wilms tumors: Our surgeons have extensive experience and surgical ability to preserve as much normal kidney as possible for children with bilateral Wilms tumors.
  • Melanomas: We were one of the first centers to use sentinel node biopsy for melanoma more than 20 years ago.

For more details, see Why St. Jude for Your Child's Surgery.


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