Solid Tumor Program Support Services & Resources

Family-Centered Support

The Solid Tumor Program includes dedicated support for our patients and families. 

Art Therapists

Art therapists are clinically trained professionals who use a variety of art materials at the bedside or in a group setting to help improve the physical and emotional well-being of patients and families. Art therapy is a way to help children communicate and express how they are feeling about their treatment and diagnosis. Engaging in the creative process changes the way our patients manage their stress, pain and anxiety.

Chaplain Services

Chaplains provide emotional and spiritual care to people of all faith traditions, as well as those with no religious affiliation. At Lurie Childrens, chaplains strive to create a transforming, calm presence while fostering a healing spirit throughout the hospital community. Spiritual care extends beyond the scope of religious expression — to the universal spiritual needs we all share.

Child Life Specialists

Child life specialists are trained professionals who helps children and their families understand and normalize the hospital environment. They are skilled at providing developmentally appropriate support, preparation and therapeutic play opportunities to decrease anxieties associated with being in the hospital. Their goal is to help your child understand their diagnosis or procedure in an age-appropriate way. 

Clinical Nutrition

The Department of Clinical Nutrition’s registered dietitians (RDs) provide a wide range of services for patients of all ages, including assessment, developing care plans, monitoring and education. For children with special health care needs, a good nutritional status helps to minimize complications from illness, medical treatments and surgery.

Education Liaisons

Education Liaisons partner with patients, families and their schools to help ensure access to education. They collaborate with schools to create educational plans that support your child's needs, and problem solve with parents and schools around barriers to educational services. Education liaisons also relay information to your child's school in regards to the impact of diagnosis on your child's education. Additionally, they can provide information regarding educational rights and special education services available to your child within the school system.


Pediatric neuropsychology is a subspecialty focusing on the relationship between a child’s brain development and their thinking skills, mood, behavior, and social skills.  At Lurie Children’s, we have neuropsychologists on staff with expertise in the impact of various medical conditions on this relationship.  Our neuropsychologists offer guidance to families through consultations and formal neuropsychological evaluations.  The purpose of a neuropsychological evaluation is to understand how a child’s medical condition may be affecting their functioning.  It includes an assessment of different skills – attention, learning, memory, problem-solving, reasoning, and more – and it provides insight into related interventions to help promote development.

Pediatric Psychiatry & Psychology

Lurie Children’s is staffed and equipped to manage the complex care of children with concurrent medical and behavioral treatment needs. Our specialists help many young patients overcome adjustment-related distress as well as other psychological or behavioral concerns related to their solid tumor treatment course such as depression, anxiety, medical non-adherence, and medical trauma.  Our pediatric psychologists will conduct an assessment and implement a behavioral intervention that is aligned with their solid tumor treatment plan and that includes collaboration with other psychosocial clinicians.  If psychiatric medication is indicated, the team will consult with psychiatric providers who specialize in the treatment of medically complex patients. 

Social Workers

Social workers support you and your family by helping you to understand how your child's illness or condition affects the entire family and help solve problems that may result from your child's illness. Social workers can help you find community and hospital resources, such as support groups or educational materials about child development. They also help families access additional financial resources when available and appropriate.

Oncology Programs

Lurie Children's offers several specialized programs to support the needs of children diagnosed with solid tumors:

Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Program

Adolescents and young adults living with cancer confront unique developmental challenges related to work, school, health insurance, relationships, sexuality and fertility, as well as emotional distress and depression. Lurie Children's Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Program provides services to address these concerns and support the needs of young adults with cancer.

Cancer Predisposition Program

The Cancer Predisposition Program, led by oncologist Joanna Weinstein, MD, and genetic counselors Shelly McQuaid and Angelique Mercier, provides comprehensive genetic counseling and testing services to pediatric oncology patients and families at risk of hereditary cancer syndromes. They also provide management guidance and recommendations to families, based on the results of personalized cancer risk assessments. Lurie Children's cancer predisposition services are also appropriate for adolescent or young adult cancer survivors who would like to investigate their chance of passing on a hereditary cancer risk to their future children.

Cancer Survivorship Clinic (STAR)

The Survivors Taking Action and Responsibility (STAR) Program provides risk-based care using national and international survivorship guidelines for childhood cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplant survivors. Our program also participates in research to contribute to ongoing improvements in survivorship care and the quality of life of survivors.

Center for Genomics/Next Generation Sequencing

Scientists in Lurie’s Children's Center for Genomics provide advanced diagnostic information. Sequencing of a patient’s individual tumor allows Lurie oncologists not only to confirm the exact diagnosis, but in some circumstances, may also help guide the optimal treatment regimen for the patient. This individualized or “precision oncology” approach to care can help Lurie Children's physicians choose treatment with the most efficacy and least side effects.

Fertility Preservation

The Solid Tumor Program is committed to ensuring that all patients receiving treatments which might affect future fertility or hormone function receive a comprehensive fertility consultation. We offer comprehensive options for fertility preservation and restoration for both pre- and post-pubertal patients, including sperm banking, testicular tissue cryopreservation (TTC), testicular sperm extraction (TESE), oocyte harvest, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC).

Palliative Care

The Palliative Care Program at Lurie Children’s provides support to patients and families faced with potentially life-limiting conditions, regardless of stage or prognosis. Our interdisciplinary team uses a comprehensive approach that focuses on the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients with serious illnesses. We help patients and families work with the clinical team to align their values and goals with the chosen medical therapies.

Surgical Programs

Pediatric Surgical Oncology Program

The Pediatric Surgical Oncology Program at Lurie Children's offers surgical expertise for children and adolescents diagnosed with solid organ tumors. The team is led by Timothy Lautz, MD, the only pediatric surgeon in Chicago whose practice is focused on the surgical care of children with cancer. 

Fluorescence-Guided Surgery

The Fluorescence-Guided Surgery Program at Lurie Children's uses novel dyes to augment surgical visualization. In the field of pediatric surgical oncology, these techniques can help ensure complete tumor removal, allow for less-invasive lymph node sampling, and permit identification of metastatic tumors with minimally invasive techniques.

Robotic Surgery Program

Surgeons in the solid tumor oncology program offer minimally-invasive approaches whenever safe and feasible. Lurie Children's surgeons in the Robotic Surgery Program bring extensive expertise in the Davinci Robotic Surgical platform both for urologic and general surgical oncology procedures.