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Craycroft Cancer Center expertise


If a pediatric patient is suspected to have cancer, contact the Craycroft Cancer Center at Children’s Hospital. We have the expert and state-of-the-art facility to diagnose and manage all forms of cancer.

Nurse laughs with patientOne of the 10 largest hospitals of its kind in the country, Children’s breadth of specialized services and depth of experience enable us to treat childhood cancer from the most common to the rarest conditions. Our multidisciplinary team has grown to include eight board certified and board eligible pediatric oncologists/hematologists with expertise in treating childhood cancer and clinical research in pediatric oncology. Trained at top institutions across the country and beyond, these specialists have brought their expert knowledge to the Central Valley. 

Nurse walks with patient“Children’s has what’s needed to take care of pediatric patients with cancer,” said Dr. Robert Mignacca, Children’s medical director of hematology and acting medical director of oncology. “Just call us.”

The Craycroft Cancer Center serves as one of the leading pediatric cancer facilities on the West Coast and the only provider of pediatric oncology services in the area. The Center includes an oncology outpatient unit and a fully-equipped 36-bed inpatient unit, Starship Craycroft. In addition, Children’s offers hematology services specializing in the diagnosis and management of hematological Doctor and nurse check chartdisorders. Our goal is to provide infants, children and adolescents quick access to care and an early diagnosis. Our experienced team can then develop an individualized treatment plan to ensure the best possible outcome.

The Center is a member of Children’s Oncology Group (COG) – a cooperative research collaborative of about 235 medical institutions that works to identify cancer causes and pioneer new treatments and cures. Committed to exploring new life-saving therapies when available, the Center has more than 300 patients on COG protocols at any given time, offering our patients the latest medications and treatment regimens. Involved in more than 100 ongoing clinical trials, the Center is one of the largest participants in COG research protocols on the West Coast. The Center serves more than 500 families and diagnoses over 100 new patients a year.

Highlighted Services

Brain and nervous system cancers are the second most common cancers in children, making up about one-fourth of childhood cancers. A tumor Physician checks patientin the brain can especially damage a child’s long-term development, potentially affecting their personality, ability to function and growth. To improve diagnosis and treatment, Neuro-oncologist Dr. David Samuel contributes valuable expertise as part of the diverse team – including neurosurgery, neurology, physiatry and radiology – that provides patient care. With in-depth training in this specialized field focused on brain and nervous system cancer, Dr. Samuel coordinates the patient’s multidisciplinary care and plays a key role in determining how best to treat the brain tumor.

Cancer therapies have dramatically improved over the past 30 years. Today, an estimated 80 percent of children treated for cancer will become long-term survivors. But the very same treatments that cure cancer patients put them at risk for long-term health problems. Children’s Long-Term Survivor Program helps these patients prepare for a brighter future. The program provides a comprehensive evaluation of the cancer survivor’s health and academic and social development, as well as patient education about their diagnosis, treatment, potential late effects and maintaining health. Program coordinators collect data and contact survivors for follow-up clinical trials to evaluate long-term health effects of childhood cancer treatments. This beneficial feedback helps improve treatments for all children. Our program is open to any childhood cancer survivor who has ended treatment for at least three to five years, whether treated at Children’s or another facility.

“We are committed to making our cancer patients’ lives as normal as possible while they have cancer, and we want them to have successful lives after cancer,” said Dr. John Gates, Children’s oncologist/hematologist and survivor program manager.