The Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute is proud to offer distinguished medical programs staffed by a multi-disciplinary pediatric hematology oncology care team, complete with dentists, that provides evidence-based medical care, parent support and education every step of the way.
Serving the Greater Long Beach community since 1932, the Children’s Dental Health Clinic (CDHC) is dedicated to providing quality basic and specialty dental services, as well as oral hygiene education to infants, children, and adolescents from economically disadvantaged families. The high level of quality service given by our licensed practitioners would not otherwise be available to the children we serve.
On the campus of Miller Children’s & Women's Hospital Long Beach, the CDHC is a unique hospital-based dental home that provides basic and mutli-specialty dental care to children, including children with special needs and medical considerations. As one of the only children's dental clinics providing treatment under IV Sedation, we strive to meet the vital, and often hidden, dental needs of our community.
Visit the CDHC to learn more.
The Pediatric Imaging Program provides complete imaging (radiology) care to patients staying overnight in the hospital (inpatients), outpatients and the emergency department. Miller Children’s & Women’s radiologists and imaging care team are experts at caring for children using the latest imaging technology. Images and laboratory interpretations for physicians are accurate and timely to help facilitate diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Gene therapy offers the prospect of highly specific therapies for childhood cancer. Gene therapy is an attempt to make changes in a patient’s DNA, either replacing faulty or missing genes by adding new genes to help the body better equipped to fight off disease.
While still relatively new and considered experimental, gene therapy can potentially provide a cure for life-threatening diseases that do not respond well to other therapies, including immunodeficiencies, metabolic disorders, and relapsed cancers and for acute conditions that currently rely on complex and expensive life-long medication and management, such as sickle cell disease and hemophilia.
Improvements in gene therapy technologies and a better understanding of mechanisms of tumor progression and immune escape have opened new perspectives for the cure of pediatric cancer by combining gene therapy with standard therapeutic available treatments.
Childhood cancer survivors are at risk for late effects — a variety of health issues due to the intense treatment they received. One of these late effects is infertility. Many childhood cancer survivors experience a decrease or loss of reproductive function temporarily following treatment. However, for some patients infertility can last a lifetime, causing the inability to have biological children.
Before the start of patient therapy, patients and families should consider whether a child’s fertility will be impacted by treatment. We recognize that fertility is an extremely important issue for patients and families and offers a wide variety of options to help this aspect of long-term quality of life. We work closely with families to ensure that fertility consultation and discussion of preservation options are integrated into the patient and family education for all newly diagnosed patients.
There has been a lot of progress in treatment of childhood cancer over the last decade. While many children respond well to standard treatments for childhood cancer, including radiation and chemotherapy, some children require additional treatment options. This group of treatment uses the body’s natural protective system to attack cancer cells. There are a wide variety of immunotherapies that work in different ways to either boost the body’s immune system or train the immune system to attacked cancer cells, including:
- Monoclonal antibodies — man-made versions of immune system proteins that can be designed to specifically target certain antigens (substances that cause an immune response) such as ones found on cancer cells; often used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and certain types of leukemia.
- Cancer vaccines (vaccine therapy) — substances put into the body that boost its native ability to protect itself against “foreign invaders,” including cancer. The substances may be antigens from cancer cells, genetic material that can produce a tumor antigen (DNA vaccine), or tumor cells engineered to start an immune response. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of cancer vaccine therapies: preventive vaccines and treatment vaccines. Preventive vaccines stop cancer from developing in healthy people much the same as the flu vaccine thwarts influenza. Treatment vaccines delay or stop the cell growth that is a hallmark of cancer.
- Cellular therapies — treatments where a patient's white blood cells are stimulated outside the body to see and eliminate cancer cells and then returned to the patient. Examples include treatments where white blood cells from the patient are mixed with proteins from tumors or are modified through gene therapy to enhance their ability to find tumor cells.
- Interleukins — molecules that act as chemical signals to help immune system cells grow and divide more quickly. Interleukins are often used to treat kidney cancer or metastatic melanoma.
- Interferons — molecules that boost the ability of certain immune cells to attack and slow the growth of cancer cells. Interferons are often used to treat certain forms of leukemia and lymphoma.
- Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) — a molecule that causes bone marrow to make more of certain types of immune and blood cells. GM-CSF is often used to boost white blood cell count after chemotherapy.
The nutritional services team assess the nutritional needs of patients and develop nutritional programs tailored to each child, helping them enjoy their food and get important nutrients. Our team consists of a pediatric nutrition coordinator, a pediatric nutrition support dietitian, registered dietitians, diet technicians and a nutrition manager. The clinical expertise and competency of each staff member is carefully matched with the needs of the project and patient.
Our Pediatric Rehabilitation Program offers extensive rehabilitation therapy services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreational therapy. Our pediatric rehabilitation care team provides developmentally and culturally appropriate evaluations and treatment for children from birth to young adulthood. We provide rehabilitation services both during a child’s stay in the hospital and through follow-up care in the Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialty Center.