Leukemia is a disorder involving blood cells. Healthy cells form in the bone marrow and mature into red blood cells (to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues), white blood cells (to fight infections) and platelets (to stop bleeding).
In patients with leukemia, these cells do not mature as they should or they transform into irregular blood cells that do not function normally. As abnormal cells build up in the bone marrow and bloodstream, the patient may experience anemia, susceptibility to infections and bleeding that does not clot due to the lack of functional red blood cells, white blood cells and/or platelets.
At City of Hope, leukemia clinicians and researchers collaborate extensively to develop and evaluate new therapies for better survival and quality-of-life outcomes. We are home to a team of basic scientists whose laboratory research focuses on both furthering our understanding of the causes of leukemia (leukemogenesis) and developing new disease-specific therapeutics. Our patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials including new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, hormone therapies with fewer side effects, novel surgical techniques, innovative radiation approaches and new prevention strategies.
These trials give current patients access to promising, leading-edge therapies and improve overall care for future patients worldwide. Visit our clinical trials page to learn more about current studies and their eligibility criteria.
Highlights of our leukemia program include
- A multidisciplinary team of specialists — including hematologists, medical and radiation oncologists, supportive care experts, laboratory scientists and other professionals — who work together to provide coordinated, personalized care for you and your loved ones
- Comprehensive molecular profiling and risk assessment tests that can help identify treatments that will produce the best outcomes
- A world-class bone marrow and stem cell transplant program with better than expected survival outcomes for the past 13 consecutive years
- Leading-edge clinical trials for leukemia not available elsewhere, including T cell immunotherapy, mutation-specific drugs and novel stem cell transplant regimens
- Total marrow irradiation that targets radiation therapy to bone marrow while minimizing exposure to healthy tissues and organs
- Specialized observation programs for slow-growing leukemia subtypes, allowing our doctors to deliver timely therapies when they are the most effective
- Long-term, follow-up program to minimize risk of recurrence and improve quality of life for leukemia survivors. City of Hope runs an ongoing long-term, follow-up program for bone marrow transplant recipients, which monitors them for chronic side effects and educates them on improving their quality of life based on their disease and the treatments they have received.