A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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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
  • Advanced age tops the list among breast cancer risk factor for women. Not far behind is family history and genetics. Two City of Hope researchers delving deep into these issues recently received important grants to advance their studies. Arti Hurria, M.D., director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program, and ...
  • City of Hope is extending the reach of its lifesaving mission well beyond U.S. borders. To that end, three distinguished City of Hope leaders visited China earlier this year to lay the foundation for the institution’s new International Medicine Program. The program is part of City of Hope’s strategi...
  • A hallmark of cancer is that it doesn’t always limit itself to a primary location. It spreads. Breast cancer and lung cancer in particular are prone to spread, or metastasize, to the brain. Often the brain metastasis isn’t discovered until years after the initial diagnosis, just when patients were beginning to ...
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  • Most women who are treated for breast cancer with a mastectomy do not choose to undergo reconstructive surgery. The reasons for this, according to a recent JAMA Surgery study, vary. Nearly half say they do not want any additional surgery, while nearly 34 percent say breast cancer reconstruction simply isn’t imp...
  • The leading risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. The second top risk factor is getting older. Obviously, these two factors cannot be controlled, which is why all women should be aware of their risk and how to minimize those risks. Many risk factors can be mitigated, and simple changes can lead...
  • All women are at some risk of developing the disease in their lifetimes, but breast cancer, like other cancers, has a disproportionate effect on minorities. Although white women have the highest incidence of breast cancer, African-American women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all racial and ethni...
  • First, the good news: HIV infections have dropped dramatically over the past 30 years. Doctors, researchers and health officials have made great strides in preventing and treating the disease, turning what was once a death sentence into, for some, a chronic condition. Now, the reality check: HIV is still a worl...
  • Screening for breast cancer has dramatically increased the number of cancers found before they cause symptoms – catching the disease when it is most treatable and curable. Mammograms, however, are not infallible. It’s important to conduct self-exams, and know the signs and symptoms that should be checked by a h...
  • Rob Darakjian was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 19 years old. He began chemotherapy and was in and out of the hospital for four months. After his fourth round of treatment, he received a bone marrow transplantation from an anonymous donor. Today, he’s cancer free.   In his previ...
  • In a single day, former professional triathlete Lisa Birk learned she couldn’t have children and that she had breast cancer. “Where do you go from there?” she asks. For Birk, who swims three miles, runs 10 miles and cycles every day, the answer  ultimately was a decision to take control of her cancer care. Afte...
  • More and more people are surviving cancer, thanks to advanced cancer treatments and screening tools. Today there are nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. But in up to 20 percent of cancer patients, the disease ultimately spreads to their brain. Each year, nearly 170,000 new cases of brain ...
  • Cancer cells are masters of survival. Despite excessive damage to their most basic workings and the constant vigilance of the body’s immune system, they manage to persevere. Much of this extraordinary ability to survive falls under the control of proteins bearing the name STAT, short for signal transducer and a...
  • One person receives the breast cancer diagnosis, but the cancer affects the entire family. Couples, in particular, can find the diagnosis and treatment challenging, especially if they have traditional male/female communication styles. “Though every individual is unique, men and women often respond differently d...
  • Here’s a statistic you’ll hear and read frequently over the next month: One in eight women born in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. Although this statement is accurate, based on breast cancer incidence rates in 2013, it’s often misunderstood. Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., d...