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Pediatric Cancer Treatment at Sant Joan de Deu Hospital, Barcelona Spain

Children's cancer occurs during a complex development process, with the formation of organs and tissues. Hospital Sant Joan de Déu is one of the leading European centers with the most experience in the treatment of childhood cancer.

  • 90% eye retention in late retinoblastoma
  • 90% survival of patients with localized tumors
  • 84% of patients treated for localized Ewing sarcoma
  • 85% cure for localized osteosarcoma


Neuroblastoma is a solid extracranial tumor of the peripheral nervous system.

Molecular Diagnosis: A thorough molecular analysis of the tumor is performed to determine which
tumors do not need postoperative treatment, and which, on the contrary, require the most aggressive treatment methods.

Therapy: the hospital is one of the few European centers that uses the most advanced anti-G-2 antibody immunotherapy, which significantly increases the survival rate in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma.

Research: in the course of research, it was found that the medicine indicated for a number of renal diseases stops the growth and reduces the aggressiveness of the neuroblastoma.

Results: 68% of convalescing high-risk neuroblastoma patients treated in the hospital after three years.


Retinoblastoma is the most common type of eye tumor in children.

Therapy: Sant Joan de Déuvo Hospital - pioneers in Europe in the introduction of intra-arterial chemotherapy, which is a local application of chemotherapy directly to the tumor itself. The hospital uses intraocular (intravitreal) therapy.

Research: the world's only clinical trial of intravitreal therapy with the virus is conducted for patients with retinoblastoma who do not respond to conventional treatment.

Results: 90% eye retention in the late stages of retinoblastoma.

Musculoskeletal tumors

Musculoskeletal tumors are tumors of the development of bones and soft tissues or sarcoma.

Therapy: Hospital specialists have prepared the first joint treatment protocol in Spain for children and adults suffering from Ewing's sarcoma. New reconstruction techniques were developed and implemented.
the affected limb, both with the bone material of the patient himself and the donor, to prevent amputation.

Research: animal models were created based on the material of patient tumors for drug testing and new drug combinations were developed to combat Ewing's sarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.

Results: 84% - the cure rate in patients with localized Ewing sarcoma, comparable only to the best results recorded at the world level - the group of the New York Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Tumors of the brain and spinal cord

Tumors of the brain and spinal cord are solid tumors that are most common in childhood.

Therapy: The latest treatment strategies are applied: a combination of the most advanced chemotherapy and radiation therapy. A new therapy has been developed for patients with spinal gliomas. Sant Joan de Déu Hospital is one of the few in Europe that performs biopsies of brain stem tumors in order to replenish knowledge of this cancer, which is still incurable.

Research: an animal model of diffuse glioma of the brain stem (DIPG) was developed and established
cell lines of patients, which allowed the formation of an antigenic product for the development of vaccines.


Leukemia is a cancer originating in hematopoietic cells.

Therapy: The hospital is a member of the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer Patients (ITCC) program, which gives us access to the most advanced treatment methods and allows us to include our patients in the latest clinical trials.

Research: the hospital is one of the few in Europe, as well as the only one in Spain where
for the treatment of patients suffering from lymphoblastic leukemia CD19, in clinical trials is used
cell therapy.

Results: 84% survival after five years of patients with lymphoblastic leukemia.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

The hematopoietic stem cell transplantation department has all the human and technical resources for the most efficient implementation of the entire transplantation process.

Results: it is analyzed what type of transplantation is shown in each specific case: from the patient himself, from a related or unrelated donor, as well as the recommended type of transplantation: bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells or umbilical cord blood.

Hospital specialists are involved in the search for potential donors and conduct compatibility tests, separate hematopoietic stem cells, process them, prepare them for transplantation and save until transplantation.

All possible types of transplantations are performed at the hospital today.

Results: 90 - 100% survival in autologous transplants and transplants from a related donor; 70 - 80% survival during transplantation from an unrelated donor and galloid transplantation.

Fertility Preservation

Before the start of oncological treatment in the hospital, oocytes or ovarian tissue are taken from the girls for freezing and storage, so that in the future patients will be able to realize their desire to become a mother.

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