Pediatric Oncology Branch: Solid Tumors Program

This program focuses on good clinical care of patients with solid tumors, including pediatric sarcomas such as:

  • Ewing's sarcoma
  • osteosarcoma
  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • desmoplastic small round cell tumor
  • synovial sarcoma
  • undifferentiated sarcoma
  • melanoma
  • kidney tumors
  • other rare solid tumors

We seek to combine clinical expertise with translation of scientific research to bring effective immunotherapy and targeted therapy to patients with high-risk diseases.

Treatment Design

patient and team memberWhile tremendous strides have been made in pediatric oncology over the past decades, patients with metastatic sarcomas still face many difficulties. Pediatric sarcomas are often responsive to the initial multimodality therapies used in treatment, but metastatic sarcomas all too often recur and then can be more difficult to treat. We have several studies designed to target disease at these times of minimal disease but high risk of relapse. Our immunotherapy protocols are designed to harness the power of the immune system to target high-risk sarcoma cells before they become evident on scans. Our phase II targeting studies are often based on laboratory research done in the Branch.

The Team

Our team includes medical oncologists, interventional and diagnostic radiologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, research nurses, social workers, and other specialists.

Solid Tumors Group


Nurse Practitioner

  • Joanne Derdak, CRNP

Research Nurses

  • Donna Bernstein, RN, BSN
  • Amanda Carbonell, RN
  • Melissa Spencer, MSN, RN, OCN


We are excited to partner with the Genetics Branch Oncogenomics Section to gain molecular insight into these rare sarcomas and solid tumors. Pediatric Oncology Branch patients are able to enroll on a biology study for genomic sequencing and tissue banking of their tumor tissue. Understanding further mutations and gene alterations in these rare tumors will hopefully guide us to more targeted therapy and personalized medicine.