A Pioneer in Curing Cancer for Children

UW Carbone Cancer Center physician Paul SondelAdvances in childhood cancer treatment have been nothing short of remarkable. Four decades ago, the word "cure" was more a dream than reality. Today, approximately 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer will be cured of their disease.


Playing an instrumental role in this notable achievement is UW Health's highly renowned Pediatric Hematology/Oncology team based at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison.


"Our team has clearly played an influential role in developing pediatric cancer treatments used nationwide," says Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, head of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and a member of UW Carbone Cancer Center. "Today, we remain at the forefront, especially with ongoing research protocols for childhood leukemia, pediatric immunotherapy and neuroblastoma."


UW's pioneering role was launched more than 40 years ago, when the first successful allogeneic bone marrow transplants in the world were performed simultaneously at UW and the University of Minnesota.


Today, UW Health is recognized by the National Marrow Donor Program for excellent outcomes that are significantly above the national norm for patients receiving transplants from unrelated donors. UW Health has also received the gold seal designation from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).


Complementing UW Health's extraordinary clinical and research capabilities is the world-class American Family Children's Hospital, which includes a spacious suite of rooms built explicitly for bone marrow transplant patients and families.


"Families say they could not imagine coming anyplace else," says Kenneth DeSantes, MD, director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program. "They not only love our facility, but also appreciate how we involve them in their each child's care plans."