Surgery - used for diagnosis and local control.
Chemotherapy - helps to achieve systemic and local control.
Radiation Therapy (RT) - used for local control.
An expert pediatric pathologist is essential to make the correct diagnosis.
An expert pediatric radiologist is essential to guide the necessary investigations and assess the extent of disease.
The clinical team needs to communicate well. Multidisciplinary conferences generally take place every week at the Children's Hospital.
- Pathology is reviewed by the pediatric pathologist
- Radiology is reviewed by the pediatric radiologist
- Usually a Cytogenetics specialist will attend to discuss tumor cytogenetics
- The roles of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are discussed by specialists in those fields
In this way everyone involved can discuss cases in detail and together plan the treatment strategy.
Some tumors are so sensitive to chemotherapy that surgery and radiotherapy are usually not necessary for local control - for example, Burkitts lymphoma.
For many childhood solid tumors chemotherapy is not enough to destroy all the tumor cells in the area where the cancer originated. Either RT, surgery or a combination of both of these modalities is necessary to achieve local control.
Input from many other health care professionals is also essential - for example nursing, psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work/family counseling and audiology.