For children, against cancer
Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (TAO)

Scientific Work


The Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (TAO) of AGHIA SOPHIA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, Athens, Greece, is located in the wing of "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital, named Children’s Oncology Unit “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA".

The “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital was funded in 1900, and throughout these decades it has evolved into the largest tertiary pediatric reference center in Greece, consisting of 45 Departments, Laboratories and Clinics with 750 beds and occupying approximately 450 medical physicians and more than 200 other healthcare professionals. More than 55.000 patients are hospitalized on an annual basis and more than 200.000 patients are yearly evaluated at the outpatient services.

The “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital provides a multidisciplinary, integrated health care for children, which includes all pediatric subspecialties. The Hospital employs high-skilled specialized physicians but also provides training to many young doctors and other health care professionals. The Hospital healthcare professionals actively participate in many scientific and research activities. More specifically, numerous academic and non-academic clinical trials, even early-phase trials, take place in our facilities.

“Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital has participated to the Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC) European Programme and presently participates to the Joint Accreditation Committee ISCT-Europe & EBMT (JACIE), PARTN-ER and HARMONY (Healthcare Alliance for Resourceful Medicines Offensive against Neoplasms in Hematology), conect4children, PanCareFollowUp, European program’s COST actions (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). and other projects of SIOP-Europe. "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital has been accredited with the National Designation for Rare and Complex Disease Reference Center in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, and recently has applied for 3 European Reference Networks (ERN), PAEDCAN (referred to pediatric cancer), EUROBLOODNET (referred to rare blood cell diseases)and GENTURIS( referred to rare genetic diseases predisposing to cancer).

The “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital closely cooperates with expert Centers abroad in the context of twinning programs, such as Princess Maxima Center and the Division of Oncology in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

In 2019, four Departments have been nationally recognized as Reference Centers for Pediatric Cancer, Rare Hematological Diseases, Genetic Syndromes Predisposing to Cancer and Rare Endocrinological Diseases, and the Center is candidate for full membership in the respective European Reference Networks (PaedCan ERN, Euroblood ERN, Genturis ERN, Endo ERN). Therefore, HCP “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital , continuing its long in time and high in quality scientific tradition, proceeds to the future of Europe and the common values and goals of the European Union , with extroversion, competitive emulation and willingness for collaboration.

The Hospital owns 4 intensive care units covering the pediatric and adolescent age spectrum. In addition, there are unique Departments at a national level specialized to children and adolescents, that operate exclusively in “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital, while since 2010, the oncological Departments are located in the Oncological Unit “Elpida-Marianna V. Vardinogianni”, in a modern and functional unit that serves the needs of the young patients fighting pediatric cancer.

The infrastructure of the Hospital has been modernized in order to provide optimal health care to the young patients and their families according to the international standards. The Hospital has been recently refurnished and has been equipped with modern technologies such as a picture archiving and communications system (PACS system), an automated compounding system of intravenous therapy and an automated medication dispensing system (Pyxis system).

In order to ensure the high quality of the healthcare services provided , there are several committees such as the Oncological committee and the Oncology Tumor Board, the Hemovigilance committee, the Quality Control Committee and other, that operate on a regular basis.

Of note, the “Aghia Sophia” Hospital showed exceptional reflexes and skills during the COVID-19 pandemics, as it rapidly implemented all the necessary measures for the elimination of the viral spread and the optimal patients’ management. It also operates as a Vaccination Center for the public, as a part of the national strategy plan to achieve herd immunity, with excellent organization and daily performance.

The “Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital keeps developing at these rates, and proves that it deserves a good position in the international setting of Pediatric Reference Centers, at a European level.

The Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (TAO) of AGHIA SOPHIA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL pioneers for more than 35 years, in providing state of the art care, to children with cancer from all over Greece. Three hundred children are diagnosed every year with cancer in Greece. Since 1980, more than 4000 children had been diagnosed, managed and followed in TAO.

The Department employs Inpatient, Outpatient and Day Care Clinics and has 28 inpatient beds and 8 day-care beds. TAO also runs a dedicated specialized Hematology Lab, which performs routine hematological examinations, as well as cytochemistry, semi-solid cell cultures from bone marrow progenitor cells, molecular diagnostics and biobanking. We collaborate closely with all Departments of our Hospital, i.e. Hematopathology and Surgical Pathology, Nuclear Medicine (therapeutic MIBG), and pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit (JACIE accredited), as well as the Department of Pediatric Radiotherapy (P&A Kyriakou Children's Hospital), etc.

Apart from offering highly specialized clinical service, we perform research and academic training for hematologists, pediatricians, nurses and other relative health care professionals. We provide healthcare services for hundreds of patients covering all the spectrum of malignant neoplastic diseases in childhood with a special interest in ALL, AML, MDS, and solid tumors.

We are investing in the full spectrum of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology with special interest in leukemias, MDS/JMML,SAA, BMFS, lymphomas, neuroblastoma, brain tumors, Histiocytosis, early and late toxicity effects, and other solid tumors, as well as benign hematology.

Members of the Department’s team are active members of the SIOPE, SIOP, SIOPEN, EHA, BFM, Histiocytosis Society, the Hellenic Society of Hematology and the Hellenic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (HESPHO). The Head of the Department and members of the team are national representatives in the Cooperative Trials and Boards at a European and International level i.e. ALLIC-BFM, ALLIC-Relapse, EWOG-MDS/JMML/SAA, AML, SIOPEN High Risk and Low and Intemediate Risk Protocols, the European Consortium for Histiocytosis, and Histiocytosis Society.

Dr. Sophia Polychronopoulou, Head of the Department, will host the 9th International Symposium on MDS and SAA in Childhood on October 1-3, 2020 in Athens and Dr. Vassilios Papadakis through HESPHO, will host the Annual General Meeting of SIOPEN (Europe Neuroblastoma).

TAO has been recently accredited with the designation of Rare and Complex Disease Reference Center in Rare Blood Disorders (Aplastic anemia, inherited bone marrow failure syndromes and Histiocytosis), in Genetic Predisposition (neurofibromatosis, MDS/JMML with genetic predisposition and other genetic conditions with malignancy potential and primary immune deficiencies with malignant potential), and in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, jointly with the University Unit of Hematology/Oncology of First Department of Pediatrics.

Healthcare professionals in the multidisciplinary team and area of expertise

Medical Personnel:

1.Sophia Polychronopoulou, MD, PhD, Head of the Department
National Representative for ALL (ALLIC-BFM)
National Representative for ALL relapse (ALLIC-Relapse Guidance Steering Committee)
National Representative for AML
National Representative EWOG-MDS/JMML/SAA

2. Vassilios Papadakis, MD, PhD,
National Representative for Neuroblastoma and Histiocytosis,

3.Sophia Papargyri, MD ( inpatient and out patient clinical service)

4.Charikleia Kelaidi MD, PhD, (AML, MDS/JMML/SAA, Genetic Predisposition)

5.Mirella Ampatzidou , MD, PhD, (ALL, ALL relapse, CML, thromboses)

6.Kondilia Antoniadi , MD (Kidney tumors, cardiotoxicity, infections)

7.Vasiliki Tzotzola, MD (Histiocytosis, Sarcomas, Brain Tumors, late effects)

8.Loizos Petrikkos , MD, PhD, (MDS/JMML/SAA, Histiocytosis, infections)

Nursing Staff:
Ms. Sophia Vasila, Head of Nurses, Nursing Staff of 19 Nurses specialized in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Auxiliary Personnel:
Mr. Konstantinos Tsitsikas, Biologist
Ms. Efie Gkinopoulou, Laboratory Technician
Ms. Maria Klonou, Clinical Social Worker
Ms. Ellie Metaxa, Psychologist
Ms. Evaggelia Stefanopoulou, Secretary

Healthcare Indexes: Patient Outcomes
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (2002-2014): 5-year overall survival 90%, number of allogeneic transplants 32.
Acute myeloid leukemia (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 68% number of allogeneic transplants 17.
Fanconi anemia (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 71% number of allogeneic transplants 9.
Lymphomas (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 90%, number of allogeneic transplants 1.
Histiocytosis syndromes (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 98%.
Brain tumors (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 52%.
Bone tumours (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 77%.
Sarcomas (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 70%.
Neuroblastoma (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 73%.
Kidney tumours (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 98%.
Liver tumours (2000-2019): 5-year overall survival 45%.
Total number of allogeneic HCT for hematological diseases (2000-2019): 206

''Sophia Polychronopoulou, MD,PhD, Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist,
Head of the Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (T.A.O.),
Head of the Oncology Committee and the Medical Service, AGHIA SOPHIA Children’s Hospital,
Thivon & Papadiamantopoulou, Goudi, GR-11527, Athens, Greece''
Contact Info

Sophia Polychronopoulou
Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
“Aghia Sophia” Children’s Hospital
Address: Levadias 8 11527, Goudi, Athens, Greece
Tel: +30 210 745 2011, Fax: +30 210 745 2011
Secretary: +30 210 745 2010, -2150

For more info please contact: