Carol Portwine

Division of Hematology & Oncology

Message from Division Head, Carol Portwine

Faculty members in the Division of Hematology and Oncology provide comprehensive care to children with blood diseases and cancer.  


Faculty in the Division of Hematology and Oncology engage in specialized clinical care, education, and research to support children and families with cancer and blood diseases. Our team is supported by more than 40 colleagues in diagnostic and therapeutic services.

The division is a key partner in the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) network and we are a full member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG). The former provides an unparalleled framework for standards and guidelines in the pursuit of excellence in service delivery, while the latter affords an increasing opportunity for children to have the advantage of participation in clinical trials and related biological studies. Several members of our team have leadership roles in POGO and the COG. Additionally, our centre is a long-standing component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI)/Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Consortium. 

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Placeholder portrait image for Wendy Armstrong

Wendy Armstrong

Divisional Assistant


Division of Hematology and Oncology members contribute to medical education at McMaster University, including undergraduate electives and a postgraduate training program. In addition, a one-month rotation is offered to fellows in the Adult Hematology program.  

The division offers a Royal College accredited subspecialty training program in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology as well as clinical and laboratory training to international pediatric residents. 

Members of the division also contribute to nursing education and international health. 


Clinical care is provided at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton. On average, we see 65 new annual cases of cancer with approximately 8,000 annual outpatient visits. Special clinics serve patients with hemophilia and bleeding disorders, thrombophilia, hemoglobinopathies and brain tumours, as well as an expanding group of survivors in long-term follow-up. 


In addition to participation in co-operative group clinical trials, some of which involve leadership roles, we engage in research in patient-reported outcomes, health-related quality-of-life, thrombophilia, development of new anticoagulants and hemostatic agents, and the role of exercise and nutrition. Studies in these areas are supported by external funding and play a major part in the activities of the division. Collaboration is well established with the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute, and colleagues in a diversity of departments including engineering, biochemistry, and nuclear medicine. 

Meeting a fundamental commitment to colleagues in less privileged circumstances, our research activities extend to developing countries, especially in Latin America. This is accomplished through partnerships with several international agencies in Europe and North America. 

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