If your child has been identified as high-risk for developing a hereditary cancer in childhood, early detection and understanding of how to manage the condition is key. Your child needs an experienced team who can help you more fully understand what a potential diagnosis means for your child and your family.
The Familial Cancers Program at Riley at IU Health is the first program of its kind in Indiana to provide specialized testing and genetic counseling to families at risk for certain types of cancers. The program was founded in 1993 in order to help families become more informed about the types of cancers that may be passed down through their genetics.
We provide specialized testing and counseling services to at-risk pediatric patients in a relaxed, patient-centered environment. Our team works closely with you and your child so that everyone understands the condition and what it means for your family. We then work with associated departments at Riley at IU Health to refer your child for further treatment and follow-up care (such as gastroenterology to look for the presence of colon polyps or endocrinology if at high risk for thyroid cancer).
We provide genetic evaluation and testing services for children with the following conditions:
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Children with this inherited condition are at high risk for developing multiple types of cancer, including leukemia, osteosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.
- Familial adenomatous polyposis. Children with this inherited condition develop hundreds of thousands of adenomatous polyps throughout the colon. These types of polyps are benign (noncancerous), but they can become cancerous if they are not controlled.
- Juvenile polyposis syndrome. In this inherited condition, children develop multiple benign polyps before the age of 20, typically in the colon.
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. Children with this inherited condition develop noncancerous hamartomatous polyps along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, typically in the stomach and intestines.
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1. Previously known as Wermer syndrome, children with this condition develop tumors in the endocrine (hormone-producing) glands.
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2. In this inherited condition, children develop three types of tumors: medullary thyroid cancer, parathyroid tumors or pheochromocytoma.
- Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome. Children with this inherited condition develop hemangioblastomas (blood vessel tumors of the brain, spinal cord and eye).
- Retinoblastoma. This is an inherited eye cancer that most often affects young children. The condition starts in the retina (the sensitive lining on the inside of the eye).
- Children diagnosed with multiple primary tumors. In this condition, children have developed tumors in multiple primary locations, meaning that the cancer does not have a single site of origin in the body.
Conditions & Services
We offer a number of different Familial Cancers Program services. Below are some, but not all, of the services that we provide. If you have a question about a specific service that is not listed here, please contact our program.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
Explore Riley at IU Health departments that are associated with the Familial Cancers Program.
For Health Professionals
The Familial Cancers Program works closely with referring physicians whose patients have been identified as high-risk for developing certain types of hereditary cancers in childhood. We provide consultation in the form of genetic evaluation and testing, keeping you informed and involved each step of the way.
Refer A Patient
Riley at IU Health works with referring physicians in Indiana and beyond.Refer A Patient
The Indiana Familial Cancer Roster provides valuable information to researchers and doctors studying the causes and treatment of cancer. The information provided by eligible participants is used in research studies that will improve the future of familial cancer detection and treatment.
The Medical & Molecular Genetics Department at Riley at IU Health partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine to provide highly regarded training opportunities for medical students, residents and fellows.