The Young People Who Inspire Us
Every pediatric cancer survivor has a different story and experience. But the one thing they all share is the ability to inspire us with their courage and determination. That’s why at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, we're proud that kids with cancer have access to a level of expertise and breadth of services not available elsewhere in the region.
The Region’s Only Children’s Hospital
Every parent has one wish for their child: for them to be happy and healthy. When that wish is threatened by a serious illness, they want access to expert medical treatment, education and support. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best children’s hospitals for pediatric cancer care, the Children’s Hospital has been a source of comprehensive, compassionate hematology and oncology care for infants, children and adolescents in central Pennsylvania for more than 25 years. We’re the only children’s hospital between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia fully equipped to treat the most severely ill children with a full spectrum of high-quality care.
Four Diamonds partnership puts focus on healing
Thanks to our partnership with Four Diamonds, every child fighting cancer at the Children’s Hospital is free to put their energy toward getting better, while eligible families don’t need to worry about the cost of their care. Four Diamonds pays any costs not covered by insurance - including copays and deductibles, significant pharmacy costs and experimental therapy. Since its founding in 1972, this children’s cancer fund has helped more than 4,800 childhood cancer patients and their families. By offering a combination of superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research, it’s helping in the fight to save lives and bring the world closer to a cure for children everywhere.
To qualify as a Four Diamonds Family, a cancer patient and their family must be residents of Pennsylvania. The cancer patient must be 22 years old or younger. And, the cancer patient must be receiving their cancer treatment at the Children’s Hospital. Some exceptions are made, such as when one of our patients requires additional care at another hospital.
A mission to conquer childhood cancer
Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine strengthened their commitment to curing childhood cancer in September 2023 by bringing Dr. Giselle Saulnier Sholler, an internationally known physician-scientist, and the Beat Childhood Cancer Research Consortium to Hershey. The move provides greater access to groundbreaking pediatric cancer care and research, including clinical trials, for Penn State Health patients and surrounding communities.
In 2022, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital and Four Diamonds teamed up to develop the Four Diamonds Center for Childhood Cancer Innovation. The center enhances research on childhood cancer in three key areas:
- Patient care
- Collaborative opportunities between adult and children’s care
- Competitive research grants
Research and Clinical Trials
Research and discovery are important components of the pediatric cancer care at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. Through basic, clinical and translational research, physicians and researchers at the Children’s Hospital and Penn State College of Medicine are making new discoveries to advance the understand and treatment of childhood cancers.
If your child has been diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder, your care team will discuss the available treatment options with you and your family. The available options may include ones that are considered standard treatment, as well as new options that are available through leading-edge clinical trials.
What are clinical trials?
Clinical trials are studies that evaluate new treatments and therapies. Many of today’s standard treatments for cancer are based on the results of previous clinical trials. Participation in a clinical trial is strictly voluntary. It is important for families to talk with their care team about available clinical trial opportunities and understand what is involved in participating.
Is a Clinical Trial the Right Option for My Child?
For many cancer and blood disorder patients, clinical trials provide new options for treatment. Often, clinical trials give children with rare or difficult-to-treat conditions access to innovative therapies that may help where traditional treatments fail.
Talk with your child’s provider about the full set of treatment options and what you can expect from a clinical trial. If your child participates in a clinical trial, they may stop the treatment on the trial at any time and receive standard therapy instead.
Find out if clinical trials are available for your child’s condition.
Then talk with your child’s provider about the full set of treatment options and what you can expect from a clinical trial. If your child participates in a clinical trial, they may stop the treatment on the trial at any time and receive standard therapy instead.
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