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A young girl smiles adorably while taking a balloon from her doctor's hand. The doctor is standing by her bed and wearing professional clothing.
Everything we do centers around healing kids with cancer
The state-of-the-art Children’s Cancer Center at Staten Island University Hospital has a team of renowned specialists dedicated to providing the highest quality care for kids with cancer for the best possible outcomes. 

About

The new, expanded and state-of-the-art Children’s Cancer Center at Staten Island University Hospital is focused on more than just treating disease. Our team of internationally recognized pediatric hematology oncology specialists is dedicated to providing the highest quality care with the best possible outcomes. Everything we do at our center, whether clinical care, research or education, is aimed to support and help children fighting cancer. The Center offers outpatient and inpatient care, including cancer chemotherapy, blood transfusions, gamma globin infusions and more.

Our expertise is bolstered by our close collaboration with the renowned cancer specialists of Northwell Health's Cancer Institute.

What we treat

Some of the conditions we treat include:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bleeding and clotting disorders
  • Bone marrow disorders
  • Diamond Blackfan anemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Histiocytosis
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Myelodysplatic syndrome
  • Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell disease)
  • Thalassemia
  • Thrombosis
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • White blood cell disorders

We are here for you 24/7

We are always available to our patients. Parents appreciate the ability to speak directly with their doctor and the frequent interactions by email when needed. Physicians in our group also are tightly connected with and collaborate with the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology. Several have leadership roles with this group. We regularly interact with other specialized pediatric oncologists across the United States to share advice and opinions.

Team Butterfly

At the Children’s Cancer Center, we believe in personalized medical care. Cure is provided through medication, and healing is obtained by compassion, love and tender care provided by Team Butterfly. The butterfly was chosen as the theme and mascot of our pediatric oncology unit because children who are in this cocoon of cancer rise out of it as beautiful butterflies when healing takes place. We take the time to get to know our children and their families. And we partner with them to devise the best possible evaluation and treatment program.

Child Comfort Program

Unfortunately, some children come here because they have experienced severe side effects of treatment due to the nature of their disease. We are committed to making every effort to reduce chemotherapy side effects and meet the needs of each child that turns to us, and in many cases, we have new ideas and strategies that can make a significant difference. We promote intense pre- and post-hydration around chemotherapy and work with visiting nurse services to provide overnight home therapy, so the child can sleep in the comfort of his/her own bedroom where possible. 

Project S.M.I.L.E.

We aim to limit needless pain for all children treated at Staten Island with our Child Comfort Program. We are working with the pediatric teams to minimize pain for all children undergoing minor procedures, including vaccinations and blood draws. We have established Project S.M.I.L.E, which serves as a guide to help all members of the pediatric care team in this endeavor. Minimizing your child’s pain is a priority for us.

In addition, we are reaching for certification as a needle-less / fear free /pain free facility which we hope to achieve by special emphasis on natural ways of pain reduction during blood draw, needle sticks or procedures. By use of imagination, distraction (bubble blowing, view masters, storytelling) or other techniques, our team members are only satisfied with nothing less than smiles on the children’s faces during or after painful procedures.

Internationally recognized for treatment of histiocytic disorders

Not only do we care for local residents, but in the specialty center of histiocytic disorders, called HistioCare, we see patients, adults and children alike from around the world who seek us out to receive evaluation and treatment for this rare group of orphan diseases.

Primary pediatricians are part of our team

Patients seek treatment by us because they are referred here by their pediatricians, who recognize our expertise and know that across diagnosis and therapy, we keep them informed and updated as partners of our medical team.

We are part of a bigger team—The Cancer Institute

Pediatric cancer patients don’t always just have cancer. They may have multiple other complex medical problems that may be active concurrently with or exacerbated by cancer treatment. Staten Island University Hospital is one of the five largest hospitals in the New York area. This can be particularly valuable in children dealing with issues, such as cardiological conditions, neurology, endocrinology, lung and kidney issues. Patients and their families don’t want to have to be sent to another hospital or center should other medical issues become a problem in the midst of cancer treatment. They want access to the best pediatric specialists, all in one place, in a coordinated and multidisciplinary fashion.

Our center provides access to the full array of resources needed for comprehensive cancer care. This includes nutrition, psychosocial support, complementary medicine, rehabilitation, pain and child comfort management, and other areas. We have developed an outstanding team that includes:

  • Physicians (pediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, oncological surgeons, pathologists and others)
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Pediatric oncology certified nurses
  • Other related healthcare specialists

Chemotherapy is prepared in a dedicated chemo-pharmacy by a trained pediatric chemo-pharmacist.

Education and training

As part of the many medical education opportunities at Staten Island University Hospital, the Children’s Cancer Center at Staten Island University Hospital serves as a core facility for the pediatric residency program.

Research and clinical trials

While a major part of our efforts is focused on trying to bring new and cutting edge treatments to patients, we recognize that many parents are not interested in their child’s participation in clinical trials. Our patients recognize and appreciate that we are committed to providing information on all of the options (both standard and new), and partnering with patients and families in order to develop a treatment approach that fits every individual situation. For those parents that shy away from clinical trials, we do offer the option to participate in pediatric cancer research by a simple extra blood sample collection after informed consent. The pediatric cancer research focuses on exosomes—small nanoparticles circulating in the blood of your child—as novel biomarkers for leukemia. Even if this 5cc of extra blood of your child might not benefit your child at this point directly, many parents find meaning in contributing to research that might help future pediatric cancer patients.

Contact us

475 Seaview Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305

Leadership

Sarah R. Vaiselbuh, MD

of Pediatrics - Hematology/Oncology, Staten Island University Hospital

Director of Service - Director of Pediatric Hem/Onc of Pediatrics - Hematology/Oncology, Staten Island University Hospital

Specialties: Pediatric Hematology / Oncology
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