GRAACC was founded in 1998 as part of the Instituto de Oncologia Pediatrica (IOP- Institute of Pediatric Oncology) from the Escola Paulista de Medicina of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (EPM- School of Medicine of São Paulo/ Unifesp- Federal School of São Paulo). The goal of the institution was to provide full and humanized care for children with cancer. It also had as a goal to provide the best training for doctors, and develop research and technology for cancer treatment.
The hospital provides children and teenagers with day care. Patients can spend the day at the facility for their treatment and return home, and if possible attend school. In 2007 the institution secured a partnership with The Ronald McDonalds Foundation, and established a home for patients who did not live in São Paulo. The patients and a family member can live in the house and receive extra-hospital support (food, education, transportation and leisure) for the duration of the treatment.
Every month 2,500 procedures take place: chemotherapy sessions, medical visits, emergency care, surgeries and bone marrow transplants. Every year an average of 300 new patients are admitted to the hospital, and the period of treatment for each patient is approximately one year. Around 95% of the children and adolescents treated by the hospital are ensured by the brazilian government health insurance- SUS- and only 5% are covered by private insurance or pay for private treatment. The index of cure is 70%, a level compared to international cancer institutions.
GRAACC has become a center of reference in Brazil for pediatric cancer. It has a tripartite structure, combining representatives of civil society, the university and the business sector. Unifesp provides GRAACC with scientific and technical knowledge; civil society is one of the most important source of revenues for the hospital through donations; and the business sector advises the hospital administration and seeks for efficient and transparent management.