Solid Tumor Program
What are solid tumors?
Solid tumors are abnormal lumps of tissue. They may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
Solid tumors are not common in children. But when they happen, they can affect any area of the body. For example:
- Cancerous tumors in bone and soft tissue are called sarcomas. These include osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.
- Cancer that starts in tissues that line or cover internal organs is called carcinoma. Examples are tumors in the kidney (such as Wilms tumor), liver or thyroid.
- Neuroblastoma starts in young nerve cells and can cause tumors in many parts of the body.
- Retinoblastoma starts in the lining inside the back of your child’s eye (retina).
- Germ cell tumors grow from cells that make sperm and eggs. These tumors most often affect the testicles or ovaries.
Solid Tumors at Seattle Children's
At Seattle Children’s, we bring together a team of top experts to diagnose and treat your child, whether their tumor is malignant or benign. We provide treatment options that many centers do not offer. Our team treats children, teens and young adults, including those with the hardest-to-treat tumors.
From first visit to follow-up, our team will work with you to give your child seamless, coordinated care. Our goal is to give your child the best chance of a long and healthy life.
If you would like an appointment, ask your primary care provider to refer you to our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
If you have a referral or would like a second opinion, contact the center at 206-987-2106 or by email. A second opinion is a chance to confirm the features of your child's disease and get advice on the best treatment options.
Providers, see how to refer a patient.
“There is no better place for neuroblastoma treatment. We were treated with the utmost respect and empathy. I can’t say enough about Dr. Waldhausen and Isaac’s oncologists. They saved our son’s life. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
The pediatric experts you need for the best outcome
- Our providers are known worldwide for solid tumor care and surgery. We treat the most complex cancer patients. Our team is among the most experienced in the nation at treating solid tumors in children.
- To give your family seamless care, we coordinate your child’s visits with your solid tumor team, support staff and all relevant subspecialists.
- We are the only children’s hospital in our region accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The ACS also has verified Seattle Children’s as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center. Read more.
- Your child will benefit from the work of physician-scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and UW Medicine, as well as at Seattle Children’s. The National Cancer Institute has named our partnership a comprehensive cancer center.
Treatment tailored to your child
- Your child will receive care from a team with training and expertise in their specific type of tumor. In addition to a pediatric oncologist, your child’s care team may include general surgeons, radiation oncologists, orthopedic surgeons, otolaryngologists, gastroenterologists, gynecologists, ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons, interventional radiologists and transplant doctors.
- Each of our expert cancer surgeons is adept at state-of-the-art approaches to help diagnose and remove cancerous tumors in children, teens and young adults. Other hospitals refer patients to Seattle Children’s who have tumors that are difficult to safely remove.
- Our surgeons often do keyhole surgery using small cuts and advanced tools to reduce pain and speed healing. Most of our surgeons who focus on cancer care have been board certified both in their surgical specialty and pediatric surgical subspecialty.
- Doctors at our Neuroblastoma Program are known worldwide for treating babies, children, teens and young adults with all risk levels and stages of disease. Treatment for children with high-risk neuroblastoma has changed across North America as a result of research led by Dr. Julie R. Park.
- We have treated hundreds of children with kidney tumors such as Wilms tumor with excellent results. Our doctors strive to improve cure rates while reducing the harsh effects from traditional treatments. We have one of the nation’s largest pipelines of CAR T-cell immunotherapy trials for children and young adults.
- Our Bone Tumor and Sarcoma team includes surgeons trained in treating bone, muscle and joint problems in children, as well as surgeons trained in treating cancers that affect the soft tissue and bones (orthopedic oncologists). We have the only orthopedic surgeon in the region with dual training in both pediatrics and tumors. Our techniques include rotationplasty and other limb-sparing reconstructive surgeries.
The most advanced diagnostics and therapies
- An accurate diagnosis is key to effective treatment. For many tumor types, we use tests like molecular profiling and next-generation sequencing (NGS). These tests help us find what is different about your child’s cancer and identify the best treatment options for them.
- We offer state-of-the-art treatments such as targeted therapies, immunotherapies, stem cell transplants, surgeries of many kinds, radiation therapies, chemotherapies and new approaches offered in research studies.
- Some children with solid tumors need very high doses of chemotherapy medicines and a stem cell transplant to replace the body's systems for making blood and immune cells. Our team is with your family each step of the way — preparing for transplant, doing the transplant here at Seattle Children’s and caring for your child as they recover. We work closely with Fred Hutch, one of the largest transplant centers in the world.
- Seattle Children's is the only hospital in the Pacific Northwest and 1 of only 20 centers in the country that offer I-131-MIBG therapy for children. It is part of our commitment to bring the best and newest treatments to all children with cancer.
- For children who need radiation therapy, proton therapy may be an option. We offer this treatment at SCCA Proton Therapy, the only proton therapy center in the Northwest.
- Seattle Children’s was one of the first hospitals in the country to treat retinoblastoma with high-dose chemotherapy delivered directly into the blood vessel that feeds the tumor (intra-arterial chemotherapy).
Clinical trials, including immunotherapy
- Our doctors are national leaders in creating promising new treatments and leading research studies to improve cure rates. Our national leadership in solid tumor research means more options for children with high-risk, refractory or recurrent cancer.
- We are key players in national research groups like the Children's Oncology Group (COG), Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC) and New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT). Dr. Doug Hawkins leads COG, the largest pediatric oncology consortium in the world.
- We offer phase 1 clinical trials of CAR T-cell immunotherapy (STRIvE) developed here at Seattle Children’s. In this approach, researchers reprogram the body’s infection-fighting T cells to find and destroy cancer cells. Drs. Katie Albert, Navin Pinto and Julie Park lead these studies.
- Your child’s doctor will talk with you about any new treatment options that might help your child. Then you can decide if you want your child to take part in a research study. It’s your choice.
Learn more about cancer clinical trials at Seattle Children’s
- Find many clinical trials offered at Seattle Children’s on our Current Research Studies page or on ClinicalTrials.gov.
- Contact us at 206-987-2106.
- Email us.
- Read more about cancer research and clinical trials at Seattle Children’s.
Complete care from birth to young adulthood
- Our specialty is treating children’s disease while helping them grow up to be healthy and productive adults.
- Our team cares for your whole child. We don’t just treat their disease. As needed, your child will receive care from specialists in nutrition, pain management, pharmacy, palliative care, physical therapy and emotional health. Read more about the supportive care we offer.
- Treatment for solid tumors may be very different for children than for adults because pediatric tumors respond to therapy in different ways than adult tumors. We plan your child’s treatment based on years of experience and the newest research on what works best — and most safely — for children. Our experts focus on how treatments today affect growing bodies in the future.
- We know that teens and young adults with cancer have different challenges than young children. Our Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program focuses on their needs. An important part of planning for life after cancer is protecting the ability to have biological children (fertility preservation).
- After treatment ends, our Cancer Survivor Program will help keep your child or teen healthy over the long term. We keep you informed about future health risks and partner with the Survivorship Program at Fred Hutch to transition survivors to adult care when they are ready.
Support for your whole family
- Learning that your child has a tumor can be scary. Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and social workers help your child and your family through the challenges of their illness. We connect you to community resources and support groups.
- At Seattle Children's, we work with children and families from around the Northwest and beyond. Whether you live nearby or far away, we can help with financial counseling, schooling, housing, transportation, interpreter services and spiritual care. Read about our services for patients and families.
Solid Tumor Team
In addition to the providers listed here, your child’s care team may include surgeons, genetic counselors, nutritionists, pharmacists, researchers, intake and team coordinators, medical assistants, certified nurse assistants and family service coordinators.
Solid Tumors Nurse Practitioners
Susan L Ehling, ARNP
Kristin M Gard, ARNP
Dalia Y Hanna, ARNP
Ji Hyun L Paschall, ARNP
Solid Tumor Nurse Coordinators
Karin Cilluffo, RN
Elena Haugen, RN
Solid Tumor Radiation Oncologists
Solid Tumor Child Life Specialists
Riley Coyle, MS, CCLS, Inpatient Solid Tumor team
Alicia Sevilla, BSW, MS, CCLS, Outpatient Clinic
If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider to refer you.
Providers, see how to refer a patient.
Schedule an appointment
- How to schedule an appointment at Seattle Children’s.
- If you already have an appointment, learn more about how to prepare.
- Learn about resources such as useful links, videos and recommended reading for you and your family.