At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, we are committed to providing exceptional care for children with rare and complex cancer conditions. Our program offers the latest therapies and access to pediatric experts with extensive experience treating children and young adults with rare solid tumors.

Our program also offers services for patients with cancer predisposition. The program consists of a team of genetic counselors and physicians with experience in cancer risk assessment. Services provided include a complete evaluation of family history, risk assessment for familiar and hereditary cancers and identification and discussion of genetic testing options. The goal of the program is to provide an evaluation of cancer risk and to help individuals and their physicians understand and utilize genetic information to make personalized and appropriate screening and medical management decisions.

Therapies Offered

Treatments for rare tumors are based on the type of tumor, the child’s age, overall health and medical history, location and size of the tumor, the extent of disease and the doctor’s expectations for how the tumor will behave.

Surgery is used to treat many rare forms of cancer. Following surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be used to kill off any remaining cancer cells. This may include the use of new biologic agents that target specific mutations in these tumors.

Depending on the type of cancer, other treatments may also be used, including high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant, chemoembolization, cryotherapy thermotherapy, laser therapy, or shunts that drain fluid buildup from the brain.

Comprehensive Care

Our doctors have special training in how to diagnose and care for children with rare cancers. The doctors who guide your child’s care are certified in pediatric hematology/oncology, which means they are approved to provide the special care your child needs.

Our comprehensive clinic is made up of pediatric hematologist/oncologists and geneticists. However, the care offered at Cleveland Clinic Children’s does not stop there. Our team will help arrange consults with other services as needed. These services include:

What We Treat

What We Treat

Our Rare Cancer and Cancer Predisposition Clinic treats a wide range of rare childhood cancers, including:

Our Team

Our Team

Pete Anderson, MD, PhD
Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, & BMT

Stacey Zahler, DO
Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, & BMT

Tanya Tekautz, MD
Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, & BMT

Jessica Marquard

Programs & Services

Programs & Services

4th Angel Program

The 4th Angel Mentoring Program is an innovative, interactive approach to cancer support in which patients and caregivers are matched with trained volunteers. While emphasizing one-on-one contact, matches are primarily made based on similar age and cancer experiences to best empower caregivers and patients with knowledge, awareness, hope, and a helping hand. For more information on the 4th Angel Program, call 216.445.8734, or email 4thAngel@ccf.org.

Art & Music Therapy

Art Therapy is engaging in the creation of art, with the help of an Art Therapist, to assist with both emotional and physical healing and growth. Anyone can benefit from Art Therapy; it does not depend on talent or technical ability. The Art Therapist will discuss your interests and goals for the session and suggest art activities, which may include painting, sculpting, drawing, collage, or craftwork. Music Therapy, under the supervision of a board certified music therapist, combines music and therapeutic techniques and aids in the physiological, psychological, and emotional well-being of the individual during treatment of an illness.

Behavioral Health

Cleveland Clinic Children’s Behavioral Health program offers an array of specialized psychological services for children, adolescents, and their families. Consultation may be helpful for children who are having difficulty adjusting to hospitalization or illness, or where psychological, behavioral, or emotional factors may play a part in a child’s illness or actions.

Caring Canine Program

Cleveland Clinic’s Caring Canine teams are certified therapy dogs and volunteer handlers who provide emotional support, increase smiles and laughter, and generally reduce anxiety for patients and their families. Dog handlers and their pets deliver world-class service by visiting patients, families, and visitors during their time at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

Child Life

Child Life Specialists are health professionals who assist children and adolescents and their families as they prepare for and cope with pediatric medical and emotional experiences such as surgery, hospitalization, tests, and procedures. We’ve discovered that when children understand what is happening to them, they cope more effectively and experience less trauma and anxiety. The Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation has a dedication Child Life Specialist available to our patients during their time with us.

Dec My Room

Dec My Room is all about “creating a healing place.” Volunteers shop and then decorate a hospital room, with knowledge of the interests and passions of each individual patient. The goal is to change a plain hospital room into a cozier, more personalized space that is filled with things that the patient will find comforting during their stay.

Flashes of Hope

Founded in 2001 by the parents of a child with cancer, Flashes of Hope is a volunteer-driven organization solely focused on children’s cancer. With chapters in 55 cities, Flashes of Hope photographs and creates portraits of children diagnosed with cancer. Since their founding, they have photographed nearly 64,000 children at hospitals across the United States. Flashes of Hope honors the courage of children with cancer, captures a moment in time, and funds research so that they will have the chance to create a lifetime of memories.

Palliative Care

Our mission for Pediatric Palliative Care at Cleveland Clinic Children’s is to provide compassionate family-centered care to children of all ages facing complex, chronic conditions, while supporting and educating caregivers. The team will advocate to promote quality of life, enhance comfort, alleviate suffering, and foster coordination of care. Patients in the Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation have access to a dedicated nurse care coordinator from palliative care.

Social Work

Our social workers at Cleveland Clinic Children’s are licensed professionals. They are skilled in addressing the counseling, support, and advocacy needs of patients and their families. Patients in our department have access to two dedicated social workers in our outpatient clinic, as well as a social work team during their inpatient stays. If you would like to meet with one of our social workers, please call 216.444.5517 to make an appointment.

Spiritual Care

The Spiritual Care Department provides religious and spiritual needs for our patients, their families, and loved ones. Our clinically trained chaplains are committed to providing compassionate and appropriate spiritual care that respects the beliefs of each person.



Patients in our rare cancer program will have access to promising new therapies offered only in research studies. These studies are called clinical or therapeutic trials.

Appointments & Locations

Appointments & Locations

Patients of our Rare Cancer and Cancer Predisposition Clinic can be seen at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus:

R Building - Cleveland Clinic Children's Outpatient Center
8950 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195

To make an appointment, please call 216.444.5517.