Nationally ranked care. Another way our love for kids just keeps on growing.

The Costas Center 

The hematology-oncology team at The Costas Center use a team approach in the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer and blood disorders. The center includes a 16-bed inpatient unit, day hospital and stem cell transplant unit.  The cancer center also has a large sickle cell/hemoglobinopathy program and the oldest federally-designated pediatric Comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Center in the St. Louis area.

The Costas Center was built and is supported through the Bob Costas Benefit, which has raised millions for cancer care and other diseases treated at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.  The latest renovations have been made possible, in part, through generous donations from individuals and grateful families to The Costas Center.

Each year, approximately 70 children in the St. Louis area are diagnosed with cancer and seek treatment at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. The Costas Center enables a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to diagnose and treat children with cancer and blood disorders. Our world-class expertise in pediatric surgery, neurosurgery, tumor orthopedic surgery, radiology, radiation oncology and clinical pathology are all necessary components for the successful treatment of pediatric cancer. The Costas Center provides a comfortable setting for children to receive prolonged treatments, such as chemotherapy, transfusions or other drug treatments, without having to be admitted to the hospital.

The Blood and Marrow Transplant program continues to grow and maintain one of the highest survival rates among similarly sized center. This program is active in the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium research group.



Hemophilia Treatment

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon is home to the first federally-funded, pediatric Hemophilia Center in St. Louis. The center is a leader in developing new treatments for children with Hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. The Hemophilia program has expanded its scope to include the evaluation and treatment of children with suspected clotting disorders.

Orthopaedic Oncology

This very specialized field of oncology focuses on the bone or soft tissue of a child. Dr. Greenberg and his team use specialized surgical techniques to treat tumors from the bone or soft tissues or cancer that has spread to these areas.

Reconstruction and treatments to the skeleton, joints or soft tissues for bone tumor treatment means our doctors save the limbs of the majority of our patients. We strive to get kids back to being kids as soon as possible.

Cord Blood Transplantation

Our physicians are leaders in the use of umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants for cancer and life-threatening blood and immune disorders. We have a close working relationship with the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank, one of the largest and one of only seven FDA licensed public banks of life-saving and noncontroversial cord blood stem cells (derived from the umbilical cord and placenta).

Physicians are members of the Children’s Oncology Group, a network of children’s hospitals sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. This affiliation allows The Costas Center to offer the very latest treatments for childhood cancer, including innovative and investigational new therapies when appropriate.

Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment

The Costas Center is part of a cooperative network of Sickle Cell Anemia treatment centers throughout the Midwest, actively researching new ways to improve the health of children with sickle cell anemia. SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive care for approximately 160 children with Sickle Cell Anemia, with about 15 newborns entering the program each year.

As part of the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium, the center is participating in an innovative clinical trial utilizing genomic analysis of tumors to guide therapy and provide more individualized approaches to cancer treatment.

Meet the Hematology/Oncology Team

William Ferguson, MD, Division Director and Professor of Pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Deepika Bhatla, MD

Christopher Hugge, MD

Shermini Saini, MD

Leili Dolatshahi, MD

Aleksandar Babic, MD, PhD

Michelle Romano, RN, MSN, Director– Medical, Surgical, Oncology and Transplant Services

Abigail Sharamitaro, RN, MSN, CPNP, CPON

Lindsay Brefeld, RN, MSN, CPNP

Lauren Delaschmit, RN, MSN

Robert Parker, RN, MSN, CPNP

Our team also includes a dedicated Child Life Therapist, a dedicated Social Worker and a dedicated Psychologist.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 314-268-4000.





Basket of Hope is a non-profit organization that began at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon in 1995. The program delivers inspirational material to newly diagnosed children and their families affected by cancer.




SSM Health Cardinal Glennon is a proud supporter of the St. Baldrick's Foundation.


Friends of Kids with Cancer is a non-profit organization founded in 1992. They are devoted to enriching the daily lives of children undergoing treatment for cancer and blood related diseases.

With their help we put together a video to answer questions you or your child may have when their classmate has cancer. Watch it here!

Camp Rainbow Foundation provides free camping experiences to children undergoing treatment for, and survivors of, cancer and blood-related diseases and disorders.

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