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Starship Paediatric Blood & Cancer Centre

Public Service, Oncology, Cancer Network Group, Haematology, Paediatrics


Starship's Blood & Cancer Centre provides assessment, diagnosis, treatment and long term follow-up for children and adolescents with cancer and non-malignant haematological conditions. The service also provides a comprehensive Haemopoietic Stem Cell (Bone Marrow Transplant and CORD) Transplant service for New Zealand.
The service is multidisciplinary, which reflects the wide ranging impact a diagnosis of childhood cancer may have on a child and family. Nurses, doctors, social workers, play specialists, teachers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, Kaiatawhai (Māori Support Liasion), Pacific Island support workers, child psychologists and psychiatrists are all important and integral to our service.

The acute component of the service involves initial diagnosis and management, treatment of complications of therapy and assessment during treatment. The chronic component includes long term follow-up of children and young people both for recurrence and late effects of therapy. Palliative care caters for the physical and psychological needs of dying children and their families.

For children and families out of Auckland, a close relationship is maintained with their local hospital. Care is shared with these hospitals so as much as possible of their treatment and follow-up can be done locally. A team of Clinical Nurse Specialists ensures continuity and communication is maintained between the two.
The Paediatric Blood & Cancer Centre service also works alongside The Child Cancer Foundation, Canteen and Leukaemia & Blood  Cancer New Zealand who provide support to children diagnosed with cancer and their families. 
What is Haematology?
Haematology is the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the blood and blood-forming organs. Such disorders may involve the:
  • components of blood (cells and plasma)
  • coagulation (blood clotting) process
  • blood cell formation
  • haemoglobin (oxygen-carrying protein on red blood cells) synthesis.
 Doctors who specialise in haematology are called haematologists.
What is Oncology?
Oncology is the area of medicine involving cancer.  An oncologist is a doctor specialising in the treatment of cancer either with chemotherapy (medical oncologist) or radiation (radiation oncologist).  Other doctors are involved in the treatment of cancer such as surgeons, palliative care specialists (doctors who specialise in the treatment of symptoms from cancer that cannot be cured) and general physicians (who often are involved in the diagnosis of cancer). 
What is Cancer?
Everyone’s body is made up of millions of cells, which normally grow, divide and are renewed in a balanced or programmed way. Sometimes this process is disrupted and the cells grow in an uncontrolled way – a solid group of these cells is called a tumour. Another word commonly used for tumour is growth and it can mean the same thing.
A tumour/growth can be benign (non cancerous growth and will not spread into different parts of the body) or malignant (cancerous growth that can also spread into different parts of the body). Tumours spread by cells travelling through the lymphatic system (the body’s cleaning system) to lymph nodes (often known as glands) or through the blood to other organs in the body. These cells can then multiply.  If this happens the cancer is called metastatic. Cancer isn't contagious, so you can go on being close to family and friends.


Referral Expectations

Most children with a confirmed malignancy will be referred directly to the service and be seen within a week.

Children with non-malignant haematological disorders are likely to be seen within one month.

The Blood & Cancer Centre accepts referrals for children with cancer from Auckland, Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and for some children from the Pacific Islands. The service also covers non-malignant haematology such as children with haemophilia, thalassaemia and sickle cell disease.

The bone marrow transplant service includes the North and South Islands.


Clinic: 7am - 6pm Mon to Fri

Office: 8am - 5 pm Mon to Fri

Ward 27B has a rest time from 1 - 3pm on weekdays.

Procedures / Treatments

  • Investigations

    There are some investigations that your child may require during their stay – certainly at the time when we are trying to establish a diagnosis, and later to establish whether the treatment is working.… More

  • Treatment

    Most children will need some type of treatment for their cancer.… More

  • Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy is the use of medicines to kill or reduce the spread of cancer cells.  Chemotherapy is given as cycles and may be given once a day, once a week or even once a month.… More

  • Radiotherapy

    Radiation therapy uses special equipment to deliver high doses of radiation (beam of x-rays) to cancerous tumours, to kill or damage them so they cannot grow or spread.   Normal cells may be affected by radiation, but most appear to recover fully from the effects of the treatment.… More

  • Surgical Treatment

    Surgery is the oldest form of treatment for cancer. Surgery offers the greatest chance for cure for many types of cancer, especially those cancers that have not yet spread to other parts of the body.… More

  • Alternative Treatments

    It is very common for people with cancer to want to try other non-medical treatments such as diet or alternative/complementary medicines offered by other practitioners.  It is helpful for your oncology team to know what other therapies you might be taking as sometimes there can be interactions with their treatment. More

Services Provided

Hospitals and cancer treatment centres

  • Public hospitals

Cancer Types

Childhood Cancers

Visiting Hours

Ward 27B has unlimited visiting for immediate family.  Other visitors are welcome between 8am - 8pm.  There is a rest period between 1pm - 3pm when visitors are discouraged.


FACT Accreditation

FACT is a non profit corporation developed by the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) for the purposes of self-assessment and accreditation in the field of haematopoietic cell therapy. FACT has established standards for the provision of quality medical and laboratory practice in haematopoietic cell transplantation; conducts inspections, and accredits programmes that will encourage health institutions and facilities performing haematopoietic cell transplantation to voluntarily meet these standards; and recognises compliance with standards by issuance of Certificates of Accreditation.

The Stem Cell Transplant programme for both adult and paediatric Haematology/Oncology services is currently accredited.

Support Groups

This includes information on:
  • CanTeen
  • Child Cancer Foundation 
  • Leukaemia and Blood Foundation of New Zealand
  • Haemophilia Foundation of New Zealand

Other useful websites



Contact Details

(09) 307 4919 - office

Level 7
Starship Children's Hospital
Park Rd

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Street Address

Level 7
Starship Children's Hospital
Park Rd

Postal Address

Starship Child Health
Private Bag 92 024
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

This page was last updated at 11:58AM on April 14, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Starship Paediatric Blood & Cancer Centre.