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Program Director

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD 
EMAIL - click here
(914) 594-2150

Associate Director

Jessica Hochberg, MD 
Click Here for Email
(914) 493-7997 

 

Pediatric Hematology / Oncology

Pediatric Hematology
The Childhood and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), is an internationally-recognized, multidisciplinary diagnostic treatment and research center extending comprehensive, quality care while leading breakthrough research in cancer and blood diseases.

Our Mission

The Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation care and research teams at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital provide innovative therapies for childhood cancer and blood disorders, and develop new treatments for preventing these diseases. 

Our dedicated mission includes:

• Providing state-of-the-art and personalized, quality care for pediatric patients
• Developing new preventive, diagnostic, innovative, and therapeutic strategies
• Conducting scholarly clinical, translational, and basic science research
• Implementing translational therapy that incorporates cellular, gene, and regenerative therapeutics, targeted therapy, and personalized curative strategies
• Promoting psychosocial well-being and long-term survivorship
• Educating and mentoring future generations of bright and caring health care professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with cancer,
  blood and genetic illnesses.

Personalized Care You Can Trust

Twenty-first century treatment for our youngest cancer and blood disease patients means a personalized, targeted approach that’s both focused and gentle—one that reduces toxicity and uses groundbreaking methods to treat cancerous tissues and blood diseases. Under the direction of Mitchell Cairo, MD, Division Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, our team draws upon expertise in pediatric hematology, oncology, stem cell transplantation, surgery, pathology, genetics, radiation oncology and immunology to personalize this approach for each child.

We specialize in diagnosing, treating, and researching solid tumors, brain tumors, childhood leukemias, bone marrow failure, sickle cell disease, and other hematological illnesses. Click here for a full list of our clinical and therapeutic programs.

Cutting-Edge Research

Each day, we gain expertise, build resources and achieve breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer and blood disease. From bone marrow transplantation to stem cell and gene therapy, we are unlocking treatments and blazing trails to pinpoint the cause, course of personalized treatment, and cure. 

Our investigations are basic, translational, and clinical—meaning that breakthroughs in the laboratory translate directly into patient care. By taking the lead in several trials investigating targeted antibodies, cellular therapy and stem cell transplants, the Center has immediate access to pioneering research that informs therapeutic strategies and enhances quality of care.

Putting Our Patients First

We know, as you do, that each child is unique, and each one deserves the science-based medicine and the holistic support to sustain him or her—in body, mind, and spirit—through the challenges of sickness. From the bedside to behind the scenes, our approaches center on our patients, and from the minute you arrive at the hospital, we’re in this together. 

Active family involvement creates the environment that allows us to provide advanced care, especially through the physical and emotional rigors of prolonged illness. Children in treatment for cancer or blood disorders at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital may stay here for a while, but they will never feel “hospitalized.” Instead, they will engage will their families, peers, care providers, and others on their journey toward healing.

As Chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Dr. Mitchell Cairo leads a team of researchers to develop and investigate novel strategies of targeted therapies and cellular strategies, including gene therapy and stem cell regenerative therapy, to activate the body’s defense system and to replace damaged cells with thriving ones. Cellular therapy for childhood cancer and blood disorders has become one of the most promising areas of medical research. The promise of unlocking treatments and cures to rare disorders by harnessing the power of the patient’s own body renews the efforts of Dr. Cairo’s team to lead advances that save lives while minimizing unwanted side effects. 

Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Laboratory

By aligning vast clinical experience with unmatched scientific expertise, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Laboratory centers on six areas of groundbreaking research: 

  • Cancer genetics and treatment of childhood and adolescent hematological malignancies
  • Genetic re-engineering of immune cells to enhance cellular cancer immunotherapy
  • Tumor immunology and target identification for humoral (body-fluid) immunotherapy
  • Stem cell biology, cancer stem cells and regenerative therapy
  • Targeted therapy for childhood, adolescent and young adult tumors
  • Translational (bench to bedside) therapeutic consortiums for childhood and adolescent cancer therapy

In addition, our laboratory has developed several national translational research consortia focusing on stem cell transplantation for high-risk patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma cell therapy, pediatric sarcoma cell therapy, familial stem cell transplantation for sickle cell disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma translational research and treatment. Due to our “bench to bedside and back” research, children travel from across the country, and the world, to receive treatment at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. 


Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory

The Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CTEL) within the Children and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Disease Center at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital supports a range of translational programs in oncology, hematology, neurology, genetics and cardiology that harness stem sell, cellular, tissue and gene therapies. The laboratory consists of an 8,000 square foot “current good manufacturing practice” (CGMP) facility. But this manufacturing “plant” doesn’t turn out cars, pens, candies, clips or anything that can be seen with the naked eye. Instead, it genetically re-engineers human cells, which is the defining feature of medicine's new frontier. 

The state-of the-art equipment in the CTEL is designed to facilitate cellular therapy (CT) under investigational new drug applications (IND), in support of cellular therapy that will treat a variety of disorders and diseases. All pediatric and adult blood and marrow transplantation programs, and other regenerative cellular therapy programs at Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, rely on cell manufacture and processing in the CTEL. 

The research team has Food and Drug Administration approval for several clinical protocols to treat such disorders as sickle cell disease, in which red blood cells break down into a “sickle” shape. Therapeutic action in this case uses the patient’s mother or father as a donor, with peripheral blood as a stem cell source, to replace the damaged sickle cells with healthy red blood cells. Our research team is also investigating a clinical protocol to alleviate the effects of severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, the lack of oxygen delivered to a baby's brain, resulting in neuron injury, cell death, and compromised brain, heart and motor function. In this protocol, stem cells from the newborn's cord blood work with stem cells derived from the newborn's placenta to support cell recovery. 

Bringing these therapies to fruition allows Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, and the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, to create and provide patient-specific therapies without requiring patients to travel far from home. Our aim to bring tomorrow's therapies to patients today invigorates our mission to advance medicine, provide state-of-the-art care, and keep all children happy and healthy.

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
914.493.7997


By Car

Train

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is served by Metro North's Harlem line via two stations:

• White Plains - Bus transfer options available
• Hawthorne - Taxi service available

For train fare and schedule information, call 1-800-METRO-INFO or go to METRO NORTH 


Bus

There are three bus lines (Westchester Bee Line) you can take to our campus. Please call 914.813.7777 for bus routes and fares.


Campus Map

The Westchester Medical Center campus includes the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the Behavioral Health Center.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, and the Westchester Warriors Youth Hockey Program unveiled Westchester Warriors Way – a new entrance to the expanded Center for Pediatric Oncology and Cellular Therapy at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

Since 2016, the Westchester Warriors Youth Hockey Program has partnered with Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital to fight children’s cancer, a mission started by Westchester Warriors Co-Founders Luis Panchame, Denis DuFresne and Ron Vitale. To date, the Westchester Warriors have raised over $230,000 for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, and the club’s efforts will continue throughout the year.

Scroll Down for Photos

Pictured, from left, Michael Gewitz, MD, William Russell McCurdy Physician-in-Chief at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital (back row left), Michael Israel, President and CEO, Westchester Medical Center Health Network (second left) and Mitchell Cairo, MD, Chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital (second row center) join Westchester Warriors Youth Hockey Club Co-Founders Luis Panchame (back row center), Ron Vitale (second right) and Denis Dufresne (far right) help Westchester Warriors Youth Hockey Club players and fans celebrate the opening of Westchester Warriors Way at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

Westchester Warriors Youth Hockey Club Co-Founders Luis Panchame (left), Denis Dufresne and Ron Vitale in front of the plaque commemorating Westchester Warriors Way at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

Mitchell Cairo, MD, Chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital reveals the plaque commemorating the opening of Westchester Warriors Way at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Looking on are Michael Israel, President and CEO, Westchester Medical Center Health Network (left) and Westchester Warriors Youth Hockey Club Co-Founder Luis Panchame.

Commemorative plaque adorns the wall outside of Westchester Warriors Way, a new entry point for children and families entering Center for Pediatric Oncology and Cellular Therapy at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

Westchester Warriors Youth Hockey Club jersey’s share the club’s mission and message.

Dozens of players, families and hospital representatives attended the dedication ceremony for Westchester Warriors Way.

Cairo, Mitchell
Cairo, Mitchell
‌Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation‌; Director, Childhood and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center
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