A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Hematologic Cancers Bookmark and Share

Hematologic Cancers

Hematologic cancers are those cancers that occur in cells of the immune system or in blood-forming tissues including bone marrow. As a pioneer in advancing care for all hematologic cancers and related blood disorders, City of Hope's Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation leads the field as one of the largest and most successful transplant centers in the world.
 
Led by Stephen J. Forman, M.D., Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, our dedicated, multidisciplinary team of health care professionals combine innovative research discoveries with superior clinical treatments to improve outcomes for patients with:
 
  • Leukemia (cancer of the blood cells)
    • Acute myeloid leukemia
    • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
    • Chronic myelogenous leukemia
    • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic cells)
    • Hodgkin lymphoma
    • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Myeloma (cancer of plasma cells)
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome  (serious blood abnormalities that can lead to cancer)
  • Other hematologic disorders
 
 
  • The Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Center has ranked City of Hope as an “over-performing” transplant center, and City of Hope is the only U.S. transplant center with this recognition for nine consecutive years.
  • City of Hope recognizes the importance of maintaining contact with all transplant patients to ensure they have optimal outcomes after their treatment have concluded. Established in 1998, our Long-term Follow-up Program follows all patients who have received a transplant at City of Hope. Through this program, our survivors can be carefully monitored for long-term effects and given timely interventions, while our clinicians and researchers have access to data that can be used to further improve cancer treatments.
  • City of Hope's hematology malignancy program integrates both transplant and non-transplant therapies, so there is a smoother transition of treatments for patients who ultimately need a stem cell transplant.
  • City of Hope physicians have extensive experience performing a wide variety of transplant procedures, having performed more than 12,000 transplants—one of the biggest programs in the United States. Our expertise includes both autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplants (using cells directly from the patient and from another person, respectively) and transplants using cells derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood and cord blood.
  • City of Hope’s transplant program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the standard of excellence for blood and bone marrow transplant programs in the United States.
 

As a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is recognized as a leader in cancer treatment, research and education.  Patients at City of Hope have access to innovative clinical trials and nationally recognized experts who are developing novel, more effective methods for treating hematologic cancers and disorders.

Whether newly diagnosed or relapsed, City of Hope patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals, including:
 
  • Hematologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Dieticians
  • Social workers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Patient Navigators
  • Chaplains
  • Supportive Care Specialists
 
Together, the patient care team collaborates to design and create integrated, individualized treatment plans using the most promising therapies and up-to-date clinical guidelines to ensure optimal outcomes for patients and their loved ones.
 

If you have been diagnosed with a hematologic cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Hematologic Cancers/HCT Team

Research and Clinical Trials

City of Hope is recognized internationally for its breakthrough research discoveries and clinical trials for developing new ways to treat hematologic cancers. Patients at City of Hope will have the ability to enroll in these trials, which can expand their treatment options and improve their outcomes.
 
Highlights of our current efforts include:
 
  • While stem cell transplants can be a lifesaving procedure for patients with hematologic disorders, it also carries a risk of graft versus host disease (GvHD), in which the newly transplanted stem cells do not recognize the recipient’s body as their own and start producing an immune response against it, leading to chronic and potentially serious complications. To reduce the likelihood of GvHD and to improve transplant outcomes, City of Hope is researching new ways to classify and match stem cell donors and recipients.
  • Harnessing the patient’s own immune system against the cancer, specifically through T-cell modification. In this experimental therapy, the patient’s own T-cells are extracted from the body, modified to recognize and attack cancer cells and re-infused back into the patient. This treatment has shown positive results for patients with lymphoma and lymphoid leukemia and is currently being studied for its potential against myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma .
  • Our use and refinement of nonmyeloablative (“mini”) transplants, which relies less on the heavy doses of chemotherapy and radiation and more on the anti-cancer effects of the transplant itself. This novel approach allows otherwise ineligible patients, such as older patients or those who cannot tolerate radiation/chemotherapy-related effects, to be treated with this lifesaving procedure.
  • Continual development and improvement of drug regimens to treat hematologic cancers. Recently, City of Hope had led a national study of the drug brentuximab in patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma , in whom the drug produced a high rate of response compared to standard therapy.
  • Our scientists are currently investigating leukemia stem cells, which several studies have suggested to cause leukemia. By identifying and eradicating these cancerous stem cells — instead of just the mature leukemia cells that conventional therapies target — a definitive cure for this disease can be achieved. 
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a hematologic cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Living with a Hematologic Cancer

City of Hope patients have access to the broad range of services offered by our  Department of Supportive Care Medicine. The department’s staff of professionals can give expert assistance in navigating a complex care as well as helping patients and loved ones with a variety of wellness issues including:
 
  • Managing side effects
  • Pain management
  • Coping and maintaining emotional/social/spiritual well-being
  • Staying healthy and active during/after treatment
  • Guidance on eating well and cooking smart
  • Healing arts
  • Being active
  • Building caregivers’ skills
  • Sexual health and fertility
  • Body image
 
 
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is the heart of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, integrating City of Hope's support services under one umbrella. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment.

Our team of supportive care experts includes clinical social workers; pain and palliative care physicians and nurses; psychologists, psychiatrists; patient navigators; health educators; spiritual care chaplains; child life specialists and more. The Biller Resource Center staff may be reached at 626-256-4673 ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
Other Resources
 
"A Patient's Guide to Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation at City of Hope" was developed to help City of Hope patients and their families learn about blood and marrow transplantation and what to expect before, during and after transplant at City of Hope.
 
 

If you have been diagnosed with a hematologic cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.

Celebration of Life Bone Marrow Transplant/HCT Reunion

Bone marrow transplants offer a second chance for people with life-threatening blood cancers and other hematologic malignancies.  City of Hope performed its first bone marrow transplant in 1976. Since then, thousands of patients from virtually every state and dozens of countries have undergone bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplants at City of Hope.

City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the annual “Celebration of Life" event on the Duarte campus. The reunion has grown to more than 6,500 attendees from all over the United States and overseas. The reunion is a joyous day for everyone in attendance — physicians, nurses and former patients — as they celebrate the victories they have attained in fighting cancer. The day also features performances by former patients who entertain their fellow survivors and their families.

The patient-donor meeting is an emotional highlight of the event. Recipients, though overwhelmed with curiosity and the need to express their gratitude, can only dream of meeting the strangers who saved their lives. City of Hope makes that dream come true for two patients every year.

Watch videos, view pictures, read stories and learn more about the Celebration of Life Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion:
 
 
The annual reunion also enables physicians and researchers to advance the science of stem cell transplantation through the sharing of the findings and advances at the Karl G. Blume-Gerhard Schmidt Memorial Lecture held in conjunction with the reunion. The event commemorates the work and dedication of the late Gerhard Schmidt, M.D., who joined City of Hope's hematology program in 1977 and has made numerous contributions to the field throughout this career.
 
 
 
 
 

Hematologic Cancers

Hematologic Cancers

Hematologic cancers are those cancers that occur in cells of the immune system or in blood-forming tissues including bone marrow. As a pioneer in advancing care for all hematologic cancers and related blood disorders, City of Hope's Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation leads the field as one of the largest and most successful transplant centers in the world.
 
Led by Stephen J. Forman, M.D., Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, our dedicated, multidisciplinary team of health care professionals combine innovative research discoveries with superior clinical treatments to improve outcomes for patients with:
 
  • Leukemia (cancer of the blood cells)
    • Acute myeloid leukemia
    • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
    • Chronic myelogenous leukemia
    • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic cells)
    • Hodgkin lymphoma
    • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Myeloma (cancer of plasma cells)
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome  (serious blood abnormalities that can lead to cancer)
  • Other hematologic disorders
 
 
  • The Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Center has ranked City of Hope as an “over-performing” transplant center, and City of Hope is the only U.S. transplant center with this recognition for nine consecutive years.
  • City of Hope recognizes the importance of maintaining contact with all transplant patients to ensure they have optimal outcomes after their treatment have concluded. Established in 1998, our Long-term Follow-up Program follows all patients who have received a transplant at City of Hope. Through this program, our survivors can be carefully monitored for long-term effects and given timely interventions, while our clinicians and researchers have access to data that can be used to further improve cancer treatments.
  • City of Hope's hematology malignancy program integrates both transplant and non-transplant therapies, so there is a smoother transition of treatments for patients who ultimately need a stem cell transplant.
  • City of Hope physicians have extensive experience performing a wide variety of transplant procedures, having performed more than 12,000 transplants—one of the biggest programs in the United States. Our expertise includes both autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplants (using cells directly from the patient and from another person, respectively) and transplants using cells derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood and cord blood.
  • City of Hope’s transplant program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the standard of excellence for blood and bone marrow transplant programs in the United States.
 

As a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is recognized as a leader in cancer treatment, research and education.  Patients at City of Hope have access to innovative clinical trials and nationally recognized experts who are developing novel, more effective methods for treating hematologic cancers and disorders.

Whether newly diagnosed or relapsed, City of Hope patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals, including:
 
  • Hematologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Dieticians
  • Social workers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Patient Navigators
  • Chaplains
  • Supportive Care Specialists
 
Together, the patient care team collaborates to design and create integrated, individualized treatment plans using the most promising therapies and up-to-date clinical guidelines to ensure optimal outcomes for patients and their loved ones.
 

If you have been diagnosed with a hematologic cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Hematologic Cancers Team

Hematologic Cancers/HCT Team

Research / Clinical Trials

Research and Clinical Trials

City of Hope is recognized internationally for its breakthrough research discoveries and clinical trials for developing new ways to treat hematologic cancers. Patients at City of Hope will have the ability to enroll in these trials, which can expand their treatment options and improve their outcomes.
 
Highlights of our current efforts include:
 
  • While stem cell transplants can be a lifesaving procedure for patients with hematologic disorders, it also carries a risk of graft versus host disease (GvHD), in which the newly transplanted stem cells do not recognize the recipient’s body as their own and start producing an immune response against it, leading to chronic and potentially serious complications. To reduce the likelihood of GvHD and to improve transplant outcomes, City of Hope is researching new ways to classify and match stem cell donors and recipients.
  • Harnessing the patient’s own immune system against the cancer, specifically through T-cell modification. In this experimental therapy, the patient’s own T-cells are extracted from the body, modified to recognize and attack cancer cells and re-infused back into the patient. This treatment has shown positive results for patients with lymphoma and lymphoid leukemia and is currently being studied for its potential against myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma .
  • Our use and refinement of nonmyeloablative (“mini”) transplants, which relies less on the heavy doses of chemotherapy and radiation and more on the anti-cancer effects of the transplant itself. This novel approach allows otherwise ineligible patients, such as older patients or those who cannot tolerate radiation/chemotherapy-related effects, to be treated with this lifesaving procedure.
  • Continual development and improvement of drug regimens to treat hematologic cancers. Recently, City of Hope had led a national study of the drug brentuximab in patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma , in whom the drug produced a high rate of response compared to standard therapy.
  • Our scientists are currently investigating leukemia stem cells, which several studies have suggested to cause leukemia. By identifying and eradicating these cancerous stem cells — instead of just the mature leukemia cells that conventional therapies target — a definitive cure for this disease can be achieved. 
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a hematologic cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Living with a Hematologic Cancer

Living with a Hematologic Cancer

City of Hope patients have access to the broad range of services offered by our  Department of Supportive Care Medicine. The department’s staff of professionals can give expert assistance in navigating a complex care as well as helping patients and loved ones with a variety of wellness issues including:
 
  • Managing side effects
  • Pain management
  • Coping and maintaining emotional/social/spiritual well-being
  • Staying healthy and active during/after treatment
  • Guidance on eating well and cooking smart
  • Healing arts
  • Being active
  • Building caregivers’ skills
  • Sexual health and fertility
  • Body image
 
 
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is the heart of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, integrating City of Hope's support services under one umbrella. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment.

Our team of supportive care experts includes clinical social workers; pain and palliative care physicians and nurses; psychologists, psychiatrists; patient navigators; health educators; spiritual care chaplains; child life specialists and more. The Biller Resource Center staff may be reached at 626-256-4673 ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
Other Resources
 
"A Patient's Guide to Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation at City of Hope" was developed to help City of Hope patients and their families learn about blood and marrow transplantation and what to expect before, during and after transplant at City of Hope.
 
 

If you have been diagnosed with a hematologic cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.

Transplant Reunion

Celebration of Life Bone Marrow Transplant/HCT Reunion

Bone marrow transplants offer a second chance for people with life-threatening blood cancers and other hematologic malignancies.  City of Hope performed its first bone marrow transplant in 1976. Since then, thousands of patients from virtually every state and dozens of countries have undergone bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplants at City of Hope.

City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the annual “Celebration of Life" event on the Duarte campus. The reunion has grown to more than 6,500 attendees from all over the United States and overseas. The reunion is a joyous day for everyone in attendance — physicians, nurses and former patients — as they celebrate the victories they have attained in fighting cancer. The day also features performances by former patients who entertain their fellow survivors and their families.

The patient-donor meeting is an emotional highlight of the event. Recipients, though overwhelmed with curiosity and the need to express their gratitude, can only dream of meeting the strangers who saved their lives. City of Hope makes that dream come true for two patients every year.

Watch videos, view pictures, read stories and learn more about the Celebration of Life Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion:
 
 
The annual reunion also enables physicians and researchers to advance the science of stem cell transplantation through the sharing of the findings and advances at the Karl G. Blume-Gerhard Schmidt Memorial Lecture held in conjunction with the reunion. The event commemorates the work and dedication of the late Gerhard Schmidt, M.D., who joined City of Hope's hematology program in 1977 and has made numerous contributions to the field throughout this career.
 
 
 
 
 
Quick Links
 
Why City of Hope
Stephen J. Forman, Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, talks about why City of Hope is a special place for cancer treatment.
 
Hematologic Cancers Support Groups
The focus of the Division of Hematopoietic Stem Cell and Leukemia Research is to improve the understanding of leukemia stem cells in order to develop cures for leukemia and other hematologic malignancies.
NEWS & UPDATES
  • Cancer research has yielded scientific breakthroughs that offer patients more options, more hope for survival and a higher quality of life than ever before. The 14.5 million cancer patients living in the United States are living proof that cancer research saves lives. Now, in addition to the clinic, hospital an...
  • Advances in cancer treatment, built on discoveries made in the laboratory then brought to the bedside, have phenomenally changed the reality of living with a cancer diagnosis. More than any other time in history, people diagnosed with cancer are more likely to survive and to enjoy a high quality of life. Howeve...
  • While health care reform has led to an increase in the number of people signing up for health insurance, many people remain uninsured or are not taking full advantage of the health benefits they now have. Still others are finding that, although their premiums are affordable, they aren’t able to see the do...
  • Kidney cancer rates and thyroid cancer rates in adults have continued to rise year after year. Now a new study has found that incidence rates for these cancers are also increasing in children — particularly in African-American children. The study, published online this month in Pediatrics, examined childhood ca...
  • Thyroid cancer has become one of the fastest-growing cancers in the United States for both men and women. The chance of being diagnosed with the cancer has nearly doubled since 1990. This year an estimated 63,000 people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the United States and nearly 1,900 people will die ...
  • Older teenagers and young adults traditionally face worse outcomes than younger children when diagnosed with brain cancer and other central nervous system tumors. A first-of-its-kind study shows why. A team of researchers from the departments of Population Sciences and Pathology at City of Hope recently examine...
  • Cancer treatment can take a toll on the mouth, even if a patient’s cancer has nothing to do with the head or throat, leading to a dry mouth, or a very sore mouth, and making it difficult to swallow or eat. Here’s some advice from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)  on how to ease cancer-related dis...
  • Radiation oncology is one of the three main specialties involved in the successful treatment of cancer, along with surgical oncology and medical oncology. Experts in this field, known as radiation oncologists, advise patients as to whether radiation therapy will be useful for their cancer – and how it can best ...
  • There’s more to cancer care than simply helping patients survive. There’s more to cancer treatment than simple survival. Constant pain should not be part of conquering cancer,  insists Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., R.N., director of nursing research and education at City of Hope. She wants patients and caregivers...
  • Even its name is daunting. Systemic mastocytosis is a fatal disease of the blood with no known cure. But a new study suggests a bone marrow transplant may be the answer for some patients. While rare, systemic mastocytosis is resistant to treatment with drugs and, when aggressive, can be fatal within four years ...
  • Could what you eat affect the health of your chromosomes? The short answer is, “Yes.” Researchers led by Dustin Schones, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, and Rama Natarajan, Ph.D., director of the Division of Molecular Diabetes Research and the National Business Products Industry ...
  • September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Here, Bertram Yuh, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope, explains the importance of understanding the risk factors for the disease and ways to reduce those risks, as well as overall prostate health. “Wha...
  • ** Learn more about prostate health, plus prostate cancer research and treatment, at City of Hope. ** Learn more about getting a second opinion at City of Hope by visiting us online or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). City of Hope staff will explain what’s required for a consult at City of Hope and help yo...
  • Childhood cancer survival rates have increased dramatically over the past 40 years. More than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more, which is a tremendous feat. Despite the survival rate increase, cancer continues to be the No. 1 disease killer and second-leading cause of death in ch...
  • Although a stem cell transplant can be a lifesaving procedure for people diagnosed with a blood cancer or blood disorder, the standard transplant may not be appropriate for all patients. This is because the conditioning regimen (the intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments preceding the transplant) is...