Pediatric Oncology

Trust the cancer experts at Essentia to provide exceptional care in a healing environment. The Erick Peter Person Children’s Cancer Center in Duluth, Minnesota, is the only pediatric cancer center in the Northland. It offers skilled staff and advanced technology and provides comprehensive cancer care for children. We also offer pediatric cancer care for patients and families in the Fargo area at our Essentia Health-32nd Avenue Clinic. 

Staying close to your home and support network can reduce stress and provide comfort to you and your child. Depend on Essentia’s compassionate team to answer your questions, provide guidance for at-home care, and help you talk to your child about their diagnosis and treatment.

Erick Peter Person Children's Cancer Center - Gwen commercial Video Transcript

Text, Because it's my child. Essentia Health is here with me. A young girl, Gwen, frolics in front of a sun drenched window. She plays in a sheer indoor tent which features flowers and leaves. Gwen, Duluth. Pediatric Cancer Survivor.

GWEN DULUTH: Gwen loves to paint. She loves to cut and design. She's a very creative child.

Text, Because it's cancer. Essentia's Cancer Center is here with me.

Be, kind of, glad you're not alone, because you're definitely not alone.

Gwen smiles with her mom and dad at her side.

It is a team. It's an amazing approach. It's patient-center care.

Gwen and her dad hold up a sheer piece of pink material which reads, love. Her mother smiles as she looks at them lovingly. Text, When it matters Essentia's Cancer Center is here with me.

We just couldn't be happier with the care we had, and to have it in our home town is a gift.

Gwen and her parents play in the backyard. She wears purple butterfly wings. Text, Erick Peter Person Children's Cancer Center. Essentia Health. Here with you. Here with you stories dot org.

SPEAKER: Here with you Essential Health Cancer Center.

What's a Pediatric Oncologist?

A pediatric oncologist is a pediatrician who has completed additional training in oncology. These specialists treat cancer in children and teens. At Essentia, our pediatric oncologists are also pediatric hematologists who treat blood disorders.

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Cancer Treatments

Rely on your pediatric oncology team to create a care plan tailored to your child. It may include:

  • Chemotherapy – Delivers medications by mouth, injection, or infusion to stop cancer cells from growing
  • Immunotherapy – Affects the immune system to help the body fight cancer
  • Radiation therapy – Destroys cancer cells with high-energy radiation
  • Surgery – Removes cancerous tissue
  • Targeted therapy – Uses medications to attack specific types of cancer cells and causes less harm to normal cells than traditional chemotherapy
  • Clinical research studies – Uses promising new treatments not yet widely available

Inpatient & Outpatient Care

Talk to your child’s care team about services your child can receive on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient means your child stays at the hospital. In Duluth, Minnesota, that hospital would be the St. Mary's Children's Hospital. Outpatient means your child stays at home and visits the cancer center or hospital for treatment. In some clinic locations, pediatric cancer patients can receive care from a cancer provider in Duluth via a TeleVideo Exam. More Information

Team-Based Care

Expect coordinated care from a team that works together to treat cancer, ease pain, and help your child rebuild strength and energy. Your child’s multidisciplinary team may include:

  • Pediatric oncologists and hematologists
  • Doctors from other specialties, such as neurologists
  • Your child’s primary care doctor or pediatrician
  • Nurses, including nurses trained to give chemotherapy
  • Rehabilitation therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Psychologists and social workers
  • Child life specialists
  • School liaison services

Support for Kids & Families

Choose Essentia to address your child’s medical, emotional, and developmental needs. Your child’s care team may recommend events or services that can benefit your child and family, such as:

  • Art and music activities
  • Nutrition education
  • Online journaling programs
  • Beads of Courage, which gives patients a bead to symbolize each type of care they’ve received
  • Events coordinated by Essentia for patients and their families
  • Survivorship program, which offers long-term support for patients in remission

Risks & Benefits of Clinical Research Studies

Medical Insight: Pediatric Cancer Video Transcript

A gradient blue featuring several Essentia Health logos appears. Text, Medical Insight.

SPEAKER: Welcome to Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health. MAUREEN TALARICO: Cancer clinical trials are research studies designed to find new and improved ways to diagnose, treat, prevent, or manage cancer. Today on Medical Insight, pediatric oncologist Dr. Jackie Wiermaa tells us more about cancer clinical trials for pediatric patients at Essentia Health.

Dr. Jackie Wiermaa, pediatric oncologist, speaks to the camera. She wears a red coat, with red stethoscope. She speaks from a children-themed patient exam room.

DR. JACKIE WIERMAA: The pediatric oncologists are members of the Children's Oncology Group. And we also are affiliated with the University of Minnesota. So essentially, a child treated in Duluth can get access to the exact same treatment they would in any major city in the United States, including the Twin Cities or any major Children's Hospital or tertiary care center. MAUREEN TALARICO: Patients treated at the Eric Peter Person Children's Cancer Center in Duluth are able to stay close to home, family, and friends while still receiving leading edge treatments and personalized care. DR. JACKIE WIERMAA: It's very important to families because they can be close to a community, their children can stay in school, the parents can keep their job. Less time away from family and friends. So it's very important for just quality of care. And for us as physicians, it's very important because we can offer state of the art, modern treatment to our patients.

Various rooms around the clinic are displayed, including a children's play area.

Childhood cancer survival has increased dramatically in the last 30 to 40 years. Mortality has decreased about 50% and all of that progress is related to information we've learned from clinical trials. MAUREEN TALARICO: Dr. Wiermaa says most parents are relieved that current modern treatments, such as clinical trials, are available for their child close to home. And the majority of parents will enroll their child in a clinical trial if given the opportunity. For Medical Insight, I'm Maureen Talarico. SPEAKER: To learn more about this topic, call our experts at 786-3107.

Text, Medical Insight. Phone number, 218-786-3107. Website, essentia health dot org. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Here with you.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a referral from your child's primary care provider for this service.

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