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Recurrent and Refractory Cancer Treatment Program

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The Recurrent and Refractory Cancer Treatment Program is dedicated to working with patients whose cancers have recurred or are not responding to treatments. Our team specialists work with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and other experts to offer patients Phase I clinical trials and innovative treatment protocols. Each treatment is customized to meet the specific needs of the individual patient based on the type and stage of their cancer. All new patients are seen within 48 hours of being referred by their physician.

What We Treat

The Recurrent and Refractory Cancer Treatment Program treats all recurrent and refractory cancers. Recurrent cancers are those that have returned after a patient has been told his or her cancer is in remission. The team also treats refractory cancers, which are cancers that do not respond to treatment or stop responding during the course of treatment.

Clinical Trials and Research

The experts at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s are dedicated to providing the very latest treatments and in engaging in the research furthering the advance of treatment both now and in the future.

Children’s cancers are very different than adult cancers and must be treated with specific pediatric cancer protocols. Our experience in exclusively treating children, teens and young adults makes us the experts in the evaluation and treatment of all forms of common childhood and adolescent cancers. We are dedicated to administering the very latest pediatric cancer treatment options. A majority of our protocols come from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a national organization funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Our relationship with the COG makes us the only medical center in the southwestern United States offering COG Phase I clinical trials.

Learn more about our ongoing research and the clinical trials available at the Cancer Institute.

Recurrent and Refractory Cancer Experts


Ivan Kirov, M.D.

The Recurrent and Refractory Cancer Treatment Program is a multidisciplinary team of nationally recognized medical and surgical experts in pediatric oncology. The team is led by Ivan Kirov, M.D. who is a board certified pediatric hematologist/oncologist. He earned his medical degree from the Medical Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1979. He did his residency and fellowship in Bulgaria where he went on to become an accomplished pediatric hematologist/oncologist for more than 12 years. In 1992, Dr. Kirov moved to the United States and became a visiting fellow in the bone marrow transplant program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Oncology Center. He then went on to complete a residency in pediatrics at Westchester County Medical Center and postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at CHOC Children’s.

Dr. Kirov is actively engaged in a number of clinical research projects and is a co-investigator in all ongoing Phase I oncology studies at CHOC. He is currently investigating effectiveness of the experimental drug in recurrent leukemia patients and is also studying defibrotide in the treatment of veno-occlusive disease of the liver after bone marrow transplants.

Learn more about our exceptional pediatric oncology-trained nurses, social workers, psychologists, nurse practitioners, child life specialists and case coordinators at the Cancer Institute.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine