The Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio provides state-of-the-art treatment in one location for children and adolescents suffering from cancer, blood, or immune system disorders.
The Center is comprised of:
Inpatient and Outpatient Unit
On-site Admitting Office
Dedicated Pediatric Specialty Pharmacy
Our patients have access to ancillary services and other pediatric subspecialties within the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and the David Christopher Goldsbury Center for Children and Families.
At the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, children and adolescents of South-Central Texas, along with their families, receive information about their condition, treatment, and at-home therapy options in a family centered environment, as well as therapy close to home. This approach ensures patients and families are active participants in their therapy.
Our multidisciplinary team includes board certified pediatric hematologists/oncologists, immunologists, and surgeons, as well as specialty trained pediatric nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, geneticists, social workers, Child Life specialists, chaplains, and nurse case managers. Our team works in unison with Baylor College of Medicine to train and educate the next generation of pediatric hematologists/oncologists and pediatricians.
Timothy Griffin, MD Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine Section Head of Hematology/Oncology
Dr. Griffin received his medical degree from the University of Michigan. He completed his pediatric residency and chief residency at Northwestern University, Children's Memorial Hospital. He also completed his hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Griffin is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in hematology/oncology. Dr. Griffin’s special interest is non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Click here to view Dr. Griffin's publications.
Osvaldo Regueira, MD Professor of Pediatrics Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Regueira received his medical degree from Universidad Central del Este, Dominican Republic. He completed a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology including two years as Pediatric Pathology Fellow. He then completed a Pediatric residency at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, LA. This was followed by a combined LSU/Tulane Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship. He is board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. His special interest is in Neuro Oncology. Click here to view Dr. Regueira's publications.
April Sorrell, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Sorrell received her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma. She completed her internship at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and her residency at the University of Maryland. She completed her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She completed her clinical cancer genetics fellowship through the NIH-funded Career Development Award program at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. Dr. Sorrell is board certified in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. Her special interests include cancer genetics, hereditary leukemia, Down syndrome-associated leukemia, and clinical trials.
Nadia Cheek, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Cheek received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch. She completed her internship and residency in Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She also completed a Certificate in Clinical and Translational Sciences in Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She completed her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Arkansas Children’s Hospital) in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her special interests include leukemia and lymphoma, cancer survivorship/long term follow-up care, solid tumors, and clinical trials.
Sheila Thampi, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Thampi received her medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of California, Davis and her pediatric hematology and oncology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group and her interests include solid tumors and rare tumors. Click here to view Dr. Thampi's publications.
Adam Wolfe, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Wolfe received his MD and PhD from the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed pediatric residency and pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Wolfe’s special interests include childhood blood disorders and rare tumors. Dr. Wolfe also serves on the Executive Committee of the Pediatric Residency program at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and is actively involved in medical education research. Click here to view Dr. Wolfe's publications.
Our comprehensive hematology program is available to evaluate and assist in the management of illnesses spanning the spectrum of hematologic diseases including: immune thrombocytopenic purpura, hemolytic anemia, hemoglobinopathies, and marrow failure syndromes such as aplastic anemia and Fanconi anemia.
Sickle Cell Program
Dedicated to the prevention of complications in children living with sickle cell disease and sickle cell related disorders in South-Texas, the Center provides high quality comprehensive care, including genetic counseling for hemoglobinopathy identified by newborn screening; comprehensive annual evaluations offering education about pain, infections, and pulmonary complications; Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound to identify patients at risk for stroke; hydroxyurea management; and optimal medical management. The major focus is to prevent and minimize disease related complications with regular physician visits and annual comprehensive screening for asthma and stroke. Our erthrocytapheresis program seeks to prevent iron overload associated with chronic transfusion therapy.
As a member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), our program actively participants in the world’s largest cooperative children's cancer research entity. The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is able to provide unmatched combinations of global expertise and local care, allowing every child complete access to the latest research and world-class treatments at a facility close to home.
The immunology/rheumatology program offers evaluation of children with recurrent, chronic, or unusual infections, potential immunodeficiency, potential rheumatologic disease, and infusion of intravenous immunoglobulin. We also offer clinical consultations for patients with immunological and infectious complications of cancer, cancer treatment, or solid organ kidney, liver, and bone marrow transplants.
Cancer Genetics Program
Our cancer genetics program offers comprehensive genetic evaluation to individuals and families with increased risk of cancer, especially families with genetic factors or other conditions which predispose them to the development of leukemia. Genetic counseling and coordination of genetic testing, when indicated, is provided.
Palliative Care Program
Our palliative care program focuses on the quality of life of children and adolescents with advanced disease. Accessible by both inpatient and outpatient providers, the goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering and provide the best possible quality of life for people facing pain, symptoms, and stresses of serious illness.
Conditions We Treat
Disorders of blood
Red blood cells are made in our bone marrow, and carry oxygen throughout our bodies. A protein in red blood cells, called hemoglobin, is responsible for carrying the oxygen. Hemoglobin is made up of four smaller proteins. Some children are born with, or develop, differences in their red blood cells or parts of their hemoglobin.
Our blood doctor (hematologist) will take information provided by you and your child’s doctor, and help to diagnose and treat any problems that we might find in your child’s blood.
Anemia is really a group of conditions in which a child does not have enough red blood cells, or does not have enough hemoglobin. Although some children with anemia do require long-term help, many children with anemia do not have a life-long disease.
Our clinic works to identify the cause of a child’s anemia, and then we work with your child’s doctor to develop a plan for treating it depending on the cause.
Iron is a mineral that is found in many foods we eat, including meats, beans and green leafy vegetables. Many cereals also have iron added to them. Iron is important for making hemoglobin. Your child may be screened at the doctor’s office for iron deficiency, using a simple blood test.
We can help with diagnosing iron deficiency anemia in children, and with treating this condition.
Children with sickle cell anemia have a difference in their hemoglobin that causes the red blood cells to change shape. Under a microscope, they can look like little sickles. These cells can become clogged, causing pain in the arms, legs, chest, belly, or other places. Children with this condition do best when they are followed by a hematologist as well as their pediatrician. They often take extra medicines and have special tests performed to help keep them healthy.
Newborn babies with sickle cell can be identified by the newborn screening program. The California Department of Public Health has several great resources for parents of children with sickle cell: Ages 1-6 Ages 6-18
Some children have a difference called sickle cell trait. These children do not have a disease, and will not become sick from it. However, the newborn screening program will identify this difference.
Sometimes, children can inherit a difference in the shape of their red blood cells, causing them to become more fragile. This can lead to changes in energy or increasing paleness during illness.
If one of these conditions runs in your family, or if your doctor is concerned that your child might have one of these conditions, you might be referred to our clinic. Based on information that you provide and on testing we perform, we can help to identify these conditions and treat, when necessary.
Sometimes, children can inherit a difference in the way their red blood cells use energy. This can make them more fragile, and lead to changes in energy or increasing paleness during illness. These conditions often run in the family, and affect men and boys more than women and girls.
If one of these conditions runs in your family, or if your doctor is concerned that your child might have one of these conditions, you might be referred to our clinic. Based on information that you provide and on testing we perform, we can help to identify these conditions, offer counseling about the condition, and treat, when necessary.
Hemolytic anemias occur when red blood cells break down within the blood. This can happen when the cells are fragile, during an infection, or even due to an “overactive” immune system that damages the cells on its own. In this last category, “autoimmune” hemolytic anemia, a child can make antibodies that attack the red blood cells. This can cause changes in energy level, yellow coloration of the skin and eyes, and other symptoms.
In our clinic, we can obtain simple blood tests that can help to look for this type of change in the blood, and can provide treatments when necessary to control it.
One very unusual condition includes autoimmune hemolytic anemia and destruction of platelets as well, called Evans syndrome. We will usually perform additional tests if we suspect this condition in a child, and can then provide treatments when necessary to control it.
Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia
Sometimes, children can inherit a difference in how long the red blood cells last. When the cells live for a shorter period of time, anemia can develop that requires frequent transfusions of blood. Some of these differences are part of a group of conditions called congenital dyserythropoietic anemias.
This condition, which has at least three different types, often runs in families and is uncommon. If CDA runs in your family or if we suspect that your child has this condition, we can perform genetic testing to identify it, and treat if necessary. Our genetic counseling team can also help us to screen families and to provide guidance during pregnancy.
Rarely, the bone marrow can stop making cells completely. This condition is called aplastic anemia, and it can have different causes.
Some children develop antibodies against the bone marrow blood stem cells (“baby” blood cells), which cause blood production to stop. This condition is called "idiopathic" or "autoimmune" aplastic anemia.
After an infection such as a cold or flu, a child may briefly stop making new blood cells. This is a rare event, and gets better by itself.
If your doctor suspects this problem in your child, we may be asked to perform some tests to make sure that the problem is not a different or more severe one. If we conclude that a child has TEC, we often will not need to treat it but will monitor for your child to get better.
Cancer risk assessments for families with multiple early-onset cancers
[c.f. CHOP cancer genetics website]
Arterial and venous malformations
Mixed vascular anomalies
The Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program
The Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program will empower you to learn about your diagnosis and the treatment you received, as well as prepare you for potential long-term complications or late effects of your treatment. We will teach you about healthy living and encourage you to succeed.
Our multidisciplinary team includes a pediatric oncologist, nurse coordinator and educator, social worker, and psychologist. You will also have access to pediatric subspecialists including:
Your comprehensive visit will include appropriate physical and emotional screening, laboratory evaluation, and diagnostic tests. To schedule a survivorship visit or learn more about the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program, please call 210.704.2187.
Our partner in treating childhood cancer and blood disorders: