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Research and Clinical Trials

City of Hope is recognized internationally for its breakthrough research discoveries and clinical trials for developing new ways to treat hematological 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. Learn more about our clinical trials program .
 
Highlights of our current research efforts include:

Reducing the Risk of GvHD
 
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.
 
Adoptive T Cell Therapy
 
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 myelomaLearn more about our Adoptive T Cell Therapy research.
 
Nonmyeloablative (Mini) Transplants
 
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. Learn more about nonmyeloablative transplants.
 
Specialized Drug Studies
 
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.
 
Leukemia Stem Cell Research
 
The Division of Stem Cell and Leukemia Research s 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.
 
Long-term Follow-up Program
 
City of Hope has a formal Long-term Follow-up Program that monitors all patients who have received a transplant at City of Hope to ensure they have optimal quality of life following their diagnoses and treatments. The program also helps researchers compile data on long-term outcomes to increase awareness of the kinds of problems, both physical and psychological, that some patients face after transplant, so patients can receive timely and appropriate information and care.
 
National Cancer Institute Project Grant
 
The City of Hope’s hematology program has been continuously funded for nearly 30 years by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop innovative therapies for people battling leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers. The NCI grant supports continuing research aimed at improving the outcome for patients undergoing either autologous or allogeneic transplant for a hematologic cancer. The grant also allows researchers at City of Hope to develop laboratory-based clinical studies to expand the scope and applications of stem cell transplants. These studies include incorporating gene transfer, molecular biology, radioimmunotherapy, cellular immunotherapy and genetics to improve transplant outcomes.
 
SPORE Grant
 
The City of Hope Hematologic Neoplasia Program was awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to further its work in utilizing transplant and non-transplant approaches for the treatment of lymphoma. This SPORE is one of only three SPORE awards granted in the United States and builds upon the expertise in the transplant and cancer immunotherapy programs 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.
 

Research and 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 hematological 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. Learn more about our clinical trials program .
 
Highlights of our current research efforts include:

Reducing the Risk of GvHD
 
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.
 
Adoptive T Cell Therapy
 
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 myelomaLearn more about our Adoptive T Cell Therapy research.
 
Nonmyeloablative (Mini) Transplants
 
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. Learn more about nonmyeloablative transplants.
 
Specialized Drug Studies
 
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.
 
Leukemia Stem Cell Research
 
The Division of Stem Cell and Leukemia Research s 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.
 
Long-term Follow-up Program
 
City of Hope has a formal Long-term Follow-up Program that monitors all patients who have received a transplant at City of Hope to ensure they have optimal quality of life following their diagnoses and treatments. The program also helps researchers compile data on long-term outcomes to increase awareness of the kinds of problems, both physical and psychological, that some patients face after transplant, so patients can receive timely and appropriate information and care.
 
National Cancer Institute Project Grant
 
The City of Hope’s hematology program has been continuously funded for nearly 30 years by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop innovative therapies for people battling leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers. The NCI grant supports continuing research aimed at improving the outcome for patients undergoing either autologous or allogeneic transplant for a hematologic cancer. The grant also allows researchers at City of Hope to develop laboratory-based clinical studies to expand the scope and applications of stem cell transplants. These studies include incorporating gene transfer, molecular biology, radioimmunotherapy, cellular immunotherapy and genetics to improve transplant outcomes.
 
SPORE Grant
 
The City of Hope Hematologic Neoplasia Program was awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to further its work in utilizing transplant and non-transplant approaches for the treatment of lymphoma. This SPORE is one of only three SPORE awards granted in the United States and builds upon the expertise in the transplant and cancer immunotherapy programs 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.
 
Quick Links
About the HCT Program
Stephen J. Forman, M.D., chair of hematology and hematopoietic cell transplantation, shares his views on the essence of care at City of Hope. He highlights the bone marrow transplant program (BMT) and the program's growth over the years.
 
Other videos:
 
Past BMT Reunions
Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the "Celebration of Life" event. View highlights from past reunions.
 
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.
City of Hope's partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers, includes ThinkCure!, an innovative, community-based non-profit that raises funds to accelerate collaborative research at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles to cure cancers.
 
NEWS & UPDATES
  • Although chemotherapy can be effective in treating cancer, it can also exact a heavy toll on a patient’s health. One impressive alternative researchers have found is in the form of a vaccine. A type of immunotherapy, one part of the vaccine primes the body to react strongly against a tumor; the second part dire...
  • The breast cancer statistic is attention-getting: One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. That doesn’t mean that, if you’re one of eight women at a dinner table, one of you is fated to have breast cancer (read more on that breast cancer statistic), but it does mean that the ...
  • 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 first post, ...
  • 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 ...
  • Blueberries, cinnamon, baikal scullcap, grape seed extract (and grape skin extract), mushrooms, barberry, pomegranates … all contain compounds with the potential to treat, or prevent, cancer. Scientists at City of Hope have found tantalizing evidence of this potential and are determined to explore it to t...
  • 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 ...