Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center
Located on our Oakland campus, the UCSF Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center is the largest and most complete program for individuals with sickle cell disease and their families in the western United States. Established in 1973, our center has been at the forefront of research into better treatments and potential cures for some 50 years.
We provide diagnosis, treatment and long-term management for patients of all ages, from babies to adults. Our team of specialists includes hematologists, pediatricians, internists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, genetic counselors, social workers, psychologists and community health workers.
At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, our goal is to help individuals with sickle cell disease and their families achieve the best possible quality of life. We work with each patient and family to develop comprehensive treatment plans and to find appropriate strategies for minimizing symptoms and complications. Our psychosocial team can help with advocating to have any special needs met at school or work and with finding additional resources.
In sickle cell disease, a genetic (inherited) defect changes the shape of red blood cells from round to a "C," or sickle, shape. Anemia develops because the C-shaped red blood cells can't carry enough oxygen to the body's organs. The misshapen cells also get stuck in tiny blood vessels, leading to pain and serious problems.
Early diagnosis and care can slow or prevent some complications. We provide the latest treatments, including hydroxyurea, the first successful medical therapy for the disease, and bone marrow transplantation. We also focus on effective pain management, making individualized pain plans and offering complementary therapies, such as virtual reality massage, biofeedback and acupuncture. In addition, because we are active in research, our patients often have opportunities to take part in clinical trials (studies of promising new treatments).
Care for sickle cell disease is also available in San Francisco, at the Mission Bay Pediatric Hematology Clinics.
Our locations (1)
Robert Ward Hagar
MD, PhDPediatric hematologist-oncologist
Marsha J. Treadwell
MD, MSPediatric hematologist-oncologist
Awards & recognition
Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties
Plan your visit
What to Bring
- Photo I.D.
- Health insurance card
- Insurance authorization, if required
- Doctor's referral, if required
- Recent test results related to your child's condition
- List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
- List of questions you may have
- Device or paper for taking notes
New visitor rules
Before you head to the hospital, check our special COVID-19 rules for visitors. Thanks!
Fetal surgery firsts