Clinical Programs

Clinical Programs

We accept applications for the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at Penn State Children’s Hospital through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Clinical Programs

Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Program

The Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (SCT) Program at Penn State Children’s Hospital was established in 1998 and expanded in 2003. The SCT team provides a high level of expertise and dedicated care for pediatric patients undergoing SCT. About 15-20 patients receive a variety of stem cell therapies each year. 

Autologous stem cell transplants are done for infants with malignant brain tumors, high risk neuroblastoma and select recurrent solid tumors. Allogeneic stem cell transplants using matched sibling donors, matched unrelated donor and unrelated umbilical cord blood donors are completed at our program.

There is a dedicated stem cell transplantation block for fellows, which includes inpatient and outpatient care as well as a structured educational program.   

Our stem cell transplant medical team includes:

Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program

The Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program is a multi-disciplinary program that was developed at Penn State Children’s Hospital in 2000 to better meet the needs of children with brain and spinal cord tumors. The program is committed to improving the survival rate for these children through state-of-the-art, research-based care. 

Our medical team provides a high level of expertise and is composed of a variety of subspecialists. The team works in collaboration to provide highly specialized treatment plans.  We see approximately 30 new cases each year and over 200 children are followed in this program.  

This program oversees its own Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Tumor Board, which is held monthly.  This tumor board discusses all new cases as well as reviewing active patients on treatment and all recurrent patients. There is a special long-term follow-up multidisciplinary clinic held monthly for patients with brain tumors.  

Our Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Team includes:

Pediatric Experimental Therapeutics Program

The Pediatric Experimental Therapeutics Program was established in 2010. The mission of this program is to offer novel, experimental therapeutic options for pediatric and adolescent/young adult (AYA) patients with cancer.

The current director, Dr. Valerie I. Brown, joined the division in October 2013. Dr. Brown acts as the conduit between cutting-edge bench research in oncogenesis/drug discovery development and patient clinical trials. The goals of the program are:

  • To establish Penn State as a participating site in relevant consortia and become a national leader in early phase clinical studies. Currently, we are members of a number of consortia, including:
    • Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC)
    • Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators' Consortium (POETIC)
    • Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC)
    • We anticipate applying for membership in Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma Consortium (TACL) in the near future
  • To develop a comprehensive repository of patient data and specimens. We are in the process of updating our current patient database to make it more comprehensive and more accessible for research purposes. We have also partnered with the Institute for Personalized Medicine at Penn State to establish a repository of patient tumor samples for future use by our investigators. 
  • To educate faculty, trainees, advanced practitioners, patients and their families at Penn State regarding the importance of early phase clinical trials and of conducting strong clinical research.

Our Experimental Therapeutics Research and Clinical Team (ExTRaCT) includes:

Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program

The survival rates for most pediatric cancers are improving significantly due to high quality research, newer diagnostic modalities and novel therapies. At the Penn State Children’s Hospital, we recognize that individuals who have completed therapy need to be continually followed in a specialized clinic that can address the unique needs of survivors of childhood cancer. We have learned that survivors of childhood cancer can have many “late effects” of therapy, including physical and psychological issues related to their cancer.

The Long Term Follow-Up Clinic for the Penn State Children’s Hospital was initiated by Dr. Robert Greiner in 2010 and has been directed by Dr. Smita Dandekar since September 2013. A comprehensive clinic is held weekly where our survivors meet with the physician, the survivorship clinic nurse and a social worker dedicated to Long Term Follow UP (LTFU) who:

  • Work towards identifying potential long term effects of therapy
  • Provide educational materials for both patients and families
  • Institute an action plan for survivors with identified late effects

Our multidisciplinary team involves neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, cardiologists and endocrinologists.

Research to advance functional outcomes and the quality of life for survivors of pediatric cancer is generously funded by Four Diamonds.

Our Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program team includes:

  • Smita Dandekar, MD., Director
  • Michelle Marino, BSN, RN, Survivorship Clinic Coordinator, Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Katherine Stenman, MSW, Social Worker

Pediatric Hemophilia Program

The Pediatric Hemophilia Program is a well-established program that provides support for treatment and health maintenance for children and adolescents with congenital bleeding disorders. There are currently 160 children and adolescents followed by the program. Penn State Children’s Hospital is a regional hemophilia center.

Our team includes:

Hemophilia Center staff:

  • Colleen Farrell, Nurse Coordinator
  • Lisa Baker, Nurse Coordinator
  • Rosanne Lamoreaux, Nurse Coordinator
  • Lisa Michael, Social Worker

Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Program

The Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Program provides support for diagnosis, treatment and health maintenance for children, adolescents and young adults with all types of sickle cell disease. 

Physicians and nurses in the Sickle Cell Disease Program help to optimize the well-being of more than 100 affected children and their families through preventative care, therapy for acute and chronic complications, and education about the management of sickle cell disease. 

To further coordinate the complex care for this patient population, a comprehensive outpatient Sickle Cell Disease Clinic is available at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Our team includes:

  • Gayle Smink, MD
  • Rowena Sheils, BSN, RN, Nurse Coordinator
  • Katherine Stenman, MSW, Social Worker

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