Child and Adolescent Rare Skin Cancer Program

Child and Adolescent Rare Skin Cancer Program

The Child and Adolescent Rare Skin Cancer Program at New York Presbyterian / Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the quality care of children and teens diagnosed with rare cancers of the skin. Our one-of-a-kind center is a leader in the fight against cutaneous T-cell lymphomas in young people.

What makes our program different

The only center of its kind in the world

Our team at Columbia Children’s Health and New York Presbyterian/ Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital has created the only comprehensive multidisciplinary pediatric cutaneous lymphoma center in the world.

Our expertise spans a range of specialties

It takes a multidisciplinary team to treat a complex condition from every angle. Members of the team include:

  • Larisa Geskin, MD: dermatological oncology
  • Maria Garzon, MD: pediatric dermatology
  • Kimberly Morel, MD: pediatric dermatology
  • Kara Kelly, MD: pediatric oncology
  • Pathologists and dermopathologists, who specifically seek the underlying causes of skin diseases

Part of a worldwide effort

In addition to providing inpatient care for our patients, our team is collaborating on an International Pediatric CTCL Registry, which pools data from many different patients to look for patterns that may point to better diagnosis and treatment in the future.

An important part of our work is analyzing skin tissue, blood, and urine for substances called biomarkers that may help us predict the outcomes for children with rare skin cancers.

Our approach to care

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) describes a group of cancers that appear on, and are most often confined to, the skin. CTCL is quite rare in children, but knowing that the cancer is caused by t-cell abnormalities can help determine the appropriate course of treatment. CTCL is a subtype of a type of cancers called Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.

These cancers typically grow slowly, and it can sometimes be difficult in the early stages to distinguish CTCL from other non-cancerous conditions, such as lymphomatoid papulosis, another rare disease of the skin. However, we have expertise in detecting CTCL in the majority of cases.

The data on the best therapeutic approach to the treatment of CTCL in children is very limited. Because of that, we take a personalized and measured approach, to ensure that the appropriate therapy is used, and immediately adjusted, if needed.

Therapeutic options and include: observation, topical therapies, surgery, radiation therapy, phototherapy, chemotherapy and stem cell transplants.

We are the only comprehensive multidisciplinary pediatric cutaneous lymphoma center in the world. Our team is made up of physicians from many different specialties who are leaders in the global effort to diagnose and treat children and adolescents with rare skin cancers, particularly those related to T-cell abnormalities.