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
  • The statistics, direct from the American Cancer Society, are sobering: Cancer death rates among African-American men are 27 percent higher than for white men. The death rate for African-American women is 11 percent higher compared to white women. Hispanics have higher rates of cervical, liver and stomach cancer...
  • “Lucky” is not usually a term used to describe someone diagnosed with cancer.  But that’s how 34-year-old Alex Camargo’s doctor described him when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer — the disease is one of the most treatable cancers at all stages. That doctor was ultimately proved righ...
  • Geoff Berman, 61, starts his day with the motto: “The sun is up. I’m vertical. It’s a good day.” Ever since he’s been in remission from lymphoma, Berman makes a special point of being grateful for each day, reminding himself that being alive is a gift. “I just enjoy living,” he said. “I give e...
  • Neural stem cells have a natural ability to seek out cancer cells in the brain. Recent research from the laboratories of Michael Barish, Ph.D., and Karen Aboody, M.D., may offer a new explanation for this attraction between stem cells and tumors. Prior to joining City of Hope, Aboody, now a professor in the Dep...
  • The American Society of Clinical Oncology, a group that includes more than 40,000 cancer specialists around the country, recently issued a list of the five most profound cancer advances over the past five decades. Near the top of the list was the introduction of chemotherapy for testicular cancer. To many in th...
  • “The dying, as a group, have been horribly underserved.” So says Bonnie Freeman, R.N., D.N.P., A.N.P.-B.C., A.C.H.P.N., a nurse practitioner in the Department of Supportive Care Medicine at City of Hope. After nearly 25 years, primarily in critical care nursing, Freeman saw that the needs of the dying were ofte...
  • “Are we the only ones who feel this way?” Courtney Bitz, L.C.S.W., a social worker in the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at City of Hope, often hears this question from couples trying to cope with a breast cancer diagnosis and still keep their relationship strong. The ques...
  • Diabetes investigators at City of Hope are studying the full trajectory of diabetes and metabolic disorders, as well as complications of the disease. One especially promising approach focuses on proteins known as growth factors. Led by Fouad Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of Clinica...
  • Acute myeloid leukemia is the most common form of acute leukemia among adults, accounting for 18,000 diagnoses in 2014. Two decades ago, in 1996, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) published its first guidelines for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. Margaret O’Donnell, M.D., assoc...
  • Children diagnosed with cancer are more likely than ever before to survive the disease, but with a potential new set of health problems caused by the cancer treatment itself. Those problems can particularly affect the heart, and as doctors and other health care workers try to assess how best to care for this sp...
  • Karen Reckamp, M.D., M.S., has an office next to my own, and we often see patients at the same time. As such, I’ve gotten to know her quite well over the years, and I’ve also gotten a glimpse of many of her patients. She specializes in lung cancer, and most of her patients have tumors […]
  • Today is National Doctors Day, the official day to recognize, thank and celebrate the tremendous work physicians do each and every day. Launched in 1991 via a presidential proclamation from then-President George Bush, the observance offers a chance to reflect on the qualities that define truly great medical car...
  • When considering cancer risk, categories like “women’s cancers” and “men’s cancers” may not matter. A complete medical history, especially of first-degree relatives, must be considered when evaluating risk. A new study drives home that fact. Published in the journal Cancer, the study found a link between a fami...
  • Precision medicine holds promise – on that doctors, especially cancer specialists, can agree. But this sophisticated approach to treatment, which incorporates knowledge about a person’s genetic profile, environment and lifestyle, isn’t yet standard for all cancers. It can’t be. Researchers and scientists are st...
  • Frank Di Bella, 70, is on a mission: Find a cure for metastatic bladder cancer. It’s just possible he might. Although Di Bella isn’t a world-renowned physician, cancer researcher or scientist, he knows how to make things happen. For more than 20 years, he served as chairman of annual fundraising gal...