A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Research and Clinical Trials Bookmark and Share

Research and Clinical Trials

City of Hope's Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute 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 myeloma. Learn 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 is 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 Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute 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
 
City of Hope 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 five lymphoma 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's Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute 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 myeloma. Learn 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 is 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 Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute 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
 
City of Hope 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 five lymphoma 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:
 
 
How to Become a Cure

 
What is a blood stem cell transplant? A remarkably effective treatment for leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma - and many other diseases of the blood and bone marrow. This video shows the fascinating and dramatic journey of a blood stem cell donation all the way from a donor to a patient in need. Find out how you can become a bone marrow or stem cell donor »
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
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma facts: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system. Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues (such as the spleen and bone marrow). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S....
  • Few clinical cancer trials include older adults – and yet, more than 60 percent of cancer cases in the United States occur in people age 65 and older. The result is a dearth of knowledge on how to treat the very population most likely to be diagnosed with cancer. Now, the American Society of Clinical […]
  • Scientists at City of Hope and UCLA have become the first to inhibit the expression of a protein, called TWIST that promotes tumor invasion and metastasis when activated by cancer cells. As such, they’ve taken the first step in developing a potential new therapy for some of the deadliest cancers, including ovar...
  • Upon completing her final round of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer earlier this month, Maria Velazquez-McIntyre, a 51-year-old Antelope Valley resident, celebrated the milestone by giving other patients a symbol of hope – a Survivor Bell. The bell may look ordinary, but for cancer patients undergoing chemothera...
  • Many Americans understand that obesity is tied to heart disease and diabetes but, according to a new survey, too few – only 7 percent – know that obesity increases the risk of cancer. Specific biological characteristics can increase cancer risk in obese people, and multiple studies have shown correlations betwe...
  • As breast cancer survivors know, the disease’s impact lingers in ways both big and small long after treatment has ended. A new study suggests that weight gain – and a possible corresponding increase in heart disease and diabetes risk – may be part of that impact. In the first study to evaluate weight chan...
  • Becoming what’s known as an independent scientific researcher is no small task, especially when working to translate research into meaningful health outcomes. Yet that independent status is vital, enabling researchers to lead studies and avenues of inquiry that they believe to be promising. Clinicians, especial...
  • 720 days. That’s how long Alex Tung, 38, had to give up surfing after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. For most people, even some surfers, such a hiatus wouldn’t be a big deal, but for Tung, surfing has been everything. The Southern California resident began surfing when he was in elemen...
  • There are few among us who have not experienced loss of a friend or loved one, often without warning, or like those of us who care for people with cancer, after a lingering illness. It is a time when emotions run high and deep, and as time passes from the moment of loss, we often […]
  • For the past four years, neurosurgeon and scientist Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., has been studying how breast cancer cells spread, or metastasize, to the brain, where they become life-threatening tumors. Known as secondary brain tumors, these cancers have become increasingly common as treatment advances have ena...
  • Cutaneous T cell lymphomas are types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that arise when infection-fighting white blood cells in the lymphatic system – called lymphocytes – become malignant and affect the skin. A primary symptom is a rash that arises initially in areas of the skin that are not normally exposed to sunlight....
  • There’s science camp, and then there’s “mystery” science camp. City of Hope’s new science camp for middle school students is of the especially engaging latter variety. From Monday, July 13, to Friday, July 17, rising middle-school students from across the San Gabriel Valley were presented with a “patient” with ...
  • Women diagnosed with breast cancer quickly learn their tumor’s type, meaning the characteristics that fuel its growth. That label guides the treatment of their disease, as well as their prognosis when it comes to treatment effectiveness. Sometimes, however, doctors can’t accurately predict treatment effectivene...
  • In years past, Bladder Cancer Awareness Month has been a sobering reminder of a disease with few treatment options. For patients with metastatic disease (disease that has spread from the bladder to distant organs), average survival is typically just over one year. Fortunately, things are changing. Academic inst...
  • Tina Wang was diagnosed with Stage 4 diffuse large b cell lymphoma at age 22. She first sought treatment at her local hospital, undergoing two cycles of treatment. When the treatment failed to eradicate her cancer, she came to City of Hope. Here, Wang underwent an autologous stem cell transplant and participate...