A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Hematologic Cancers

Hematologic Cancers - Our Approach
As a pioneer in advancing care for all hematologic cancers and blood-related disorders, City of Hope's Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) leads the field as one of the largest and most successful transplant centers in the world. City of Hope combines important research discoveries with superior clinical techniques to create new therapies that improve long-term outcomes for both children and adults.
 
City of Hope has performed more than 11,000 transplants for patients from virtually every state and around the world. City of Hope's HCT program is dedicated to traditional and newer uses of this procedure.
 
City of Hope’s specialists work together closely to optimize outcomes for patients. As a result, our patients receive greater continuity of care and more coordinated treatment planning. Our specialists streamline the treatment process and expedite the management of each patient’s condition. We create integrated individualized treatment plans using promising new therapies to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
 
Led by Stephen J. Forman, M.D., Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, the department is renowned for developing innovative transplant regimens that have improved the cure rate for patients with:
 
 
HCT is also useful in treating other cancers such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as non-cancerous conditions such as inherited disorders of the bone marrow and autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma.
 
As one of a select number of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in cancer research and treatment.  Patients at City of Hope have access to innovative clinical trials, researchers and physicians who are nationally recognized experts in developing novel methods for treating hematologic cancers and other blood-related disorders.
 
A Commitment to Care
 
Patients at City of Hope – whether newly diagnosed or relapsed – are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including:
 
  • Hematologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Nurses
  • Supportive care specialists
  • Dieticians
  • Therapists
  • Social workers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists 
  • Pharmacists
 
By working closely and collaboratively, our specialists streamline the treatment process and expedite the management of leukemia. The goal is to create integrated individualized treatment plans using promising new therapies to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
 
Because our program combines both transplant and non-transplant therapies, there is a smoother transition and expedited treatment for patients who ultimately need a stem cell transplant. City of Hope performs both allogeneic (donor) and autologous (from the patient) stem cell transplants. 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.
 

Leukemia

City of Hope is recognized internationally for its breakthrough treatments for leukemia and other blood disorders. City of Hope is one of the largest transplant centers in the country for the treatment of leukemia and has had some of the consistently best outcomes for the last five years. Designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in cancer research and treatment. 
 
A Commitment to Create

City of Hope is actively pursuing tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments today. We have created new treatment protocols for:
 
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
 
City of Hope was one of the pioneers in “mini” hematopoietic cell transplants that allow for transplantation in older patients. We offer the broadest range of therapeutic options available, including protocols developed here at City of Hope and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Through ongoing clinical trials , our physicians and researchers continue to lead the way in improving outcomes in leukemia patients .
 
City of Hope utilizes stem cell transplantation and pioneering approaches such as radioimmunotherapy and adoptive T cell therapy in treating leukemia patients. These methods augment the effectiveness of chemotherapy.  In fact, for many patients, a stem cell transplant offers a real chance at curing leukemia rather than just achieving remission.
 
City of Hope’s acclaimed leadership in stem cell transplantation ensures that patients receive the latest treatment protocols designed to maximize successful transplant engraftment, while minimizing rejection and debilitating side effects. Our many patients who have been cured of leukemia provide a living testament to the expertise of City of Hope physicians.
 
For more information about our leukemia program, leukemia risk, diagnosis, treatment approaches and research, click here.
 
 
 
 

Lymphomas

City of Hope is one of the largest and most successful treatment centers in the country for patients with lymphoma. Because of our vast experience in treating patients with this type of cancer, our specialists lead the field of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) with excellent outcomes. Since 1976, City of Hope has performed more than 11,000 transplants for patients from virtually every state and around the world. 
 
As one of a select number of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in cancer research and treatment.  We collaborate with scientists at City of Hope and other nationally recognized research institutions to develop tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments today. With our extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed lymphoma patients can find a clinical trial targeted to their condition. 
 

A Commitment to Create

At City of Hope, we also create new treatments for lymphoma. We pioneered “mini” hematopoietic cell transplants that allow for transplantation in older lymphoma patients.  We offer the broadest range of therapeutic options available, including protocols developed here at City of Hope and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Through ongoing clinical trials, our physicians and researchers continue to lead the way in improving outcomes in lymphoma patients.   
 
City of Hope has pioneered innovative transplant regimens that have improved the cure rate for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other hematologic disorders. 
 
City of Hope combines both transplant and non-transplant therapies in the treatment of lymphomas. Delivered by a multidisciplinary treatment team that works closely and collaboratively, treatment planning begins upon the very first visit. Because of the close coordination among our specialists, there is a smoother transition and expedited treatment for those patients who ultimately need a stem cell transplant. In addition, lymphoma patients are at risk of developing myelodysplasia. Our researchers have developed biomarkers to determine who may be at risk of developing this complex disease. For more information about treatment approaches including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radioimmunotherapy, adoptive T cell therapy, stem cell transplantation, click here.
 
City of Hope’s Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) is focused on developing translational studies to improve the detection and therapy of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The studies are aimed at creating lymphoma therapies that will reduce toxicities associated with current treatment regimens. Those new therapies can then be translated for use in older patient populations.
 
To learn more about our lymphoma program, diagnosis and treatment of lymphomas, click here.
 
 
A Leader in Lymphoma Research 

City of Hope has long been a leader in lymphoma research. Our research projects have been funded by the National Cancer Institute and many other research-based organizations. We collaborate with other leading research institutions to develop tomorrow’s breakthroughs today. With our extensive program of clinical trials, City of Hope can provide our patients access to novel therapies, including many that are not available elsewhere.
 
Our Developmental Therapeutics Program has an active portfolio of trials for patients with recurrent lymphoma, including trials of new chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs. We are also actively involved in survivorship research.

City of Hope’s Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) program is focused on developing translational studies to improve the detection and therapy of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It aims to develop novel approaches derived from molecular and immunologic studies of T cell and antibody-based therapies. Its goal is also to create lymphoma therapies that will reduce toxicities associated with current treatment regimens. Those new therapies can then be translated for use in older patient populations.

To learn more about our clinical trials program and to find trials for lymphoma, click here.
 

Myeloma

City of Hope is recognized internationally for its ground-breaking discoveries and clinical trials for novel new agents to treat multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that begins in plasma cells. We collaborate with other research institutions to create tomorrow’s treatments for patients at City of Hope today. We are the only Southern California member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, a collaboration of research organizations focused on rapidly bringing the most promising multiple myeloma treatments to patients.
 
Because of our vast experience in treating patients with this type of cancer, our specialists lead the field in improving outcomes for patients. City of Hope’s approach incorporates our nationally recognized stem cell transplantation program with many clinical protocols utilizing the newest agents for the treatment of myeloma.

A Commitment to Create

Designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in cancer research and in transplant trials and is heavily involved in new drug trials, including a recently approved novel agent for myeloma (Carfilzomib). 
 
We offer the broadest range of therapeutic options available, including protocols developed here at City of Hope and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Through ongoing clinical trials, our physicians and researchers continue to lead the way in improving outcomes in myeloma patients.
 
Just as every patient is different, we recognize that every multiple myeloma case is different. What distinguishes City of Hope in the treatment of patients with blood disorders is seamless continuity of care. From a new diagnosis to treatment with the newest drugs in our clinical trials, to transplantation, patients are treated by the same team of doctors who see them through every phase of treatment and recovery. City of Hope also offers the expertise of geriatric oncologists who specialize in the treatment of older patients.
 
City of Hope is a national leader in transplant trials and heavily involved in new drug trials, including a recently approved novel agent for myeloma (Carfilzomib). City of Hope runs one of the largest and most successful hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) centers in the world. Since 1976, City of Hope has performed more than 11,000 transplants with excellent outcomes for patients from virtually every state and around the world.
 
Treatments vary depending on the specific type of myeloma and other factors such as the patient’s age, overall health and prior therapy. They include chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation and radiation therapy.
 
For more information on the myeloma program and treatments, click here.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Myelodysplasia

City of Hope physicians and researchers continue to lead the way in improving treatments and outcomes for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). 
 
City of Hope’s Clinical and Translational Research Program has had funding for the Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program by the National Cancer Institute since 1981. The MDS Foundation recognized City of Hope as a Center of Excellence for MDS in 1998 in recognition of the program’s basic and clinical research – one of only 34 hospitals worldwide to receive this designation.

A Commitment to Create

City of Hope has long been a leader in myelodysplasia research, including promising new combinations of chemotherapy drugs, immunomodulators and stem cell transplant procedures.  As a major referral center for patients with myelodysplasia, or abnormal bone marrow cells, City of Hope receives funding for research projects from the National Institutes of Health and many other research-based organizations. With our extensive program of clinical trials, City of Hope can provide our newly diagnosed or relapsed patients access to novel therapies, including many that are not yet available elsewhere.
 
City of Hope offers both non-transplant therapies and stem cell transplantation. Specialists work collaboratively to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. Some of these strategies address myelodysplasia using sophisticated genetic markers that aid in both diagnosis and treatment, and advanced chemotherapy protocols using experimental drugs.
 
Transplantation from a donor remains the only potentially curative treatment for myelodysplasia. City of Hope has seen excellent outcomes from this approach. Our specialists work together to improve patients’ chances of a successful result prior to transplantation. The full range of treatments at City of Hope includes blood transfustions, growth factors, chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation.
 
For more information about myelodysplasia and the City of Hope myelodysplasia program, click here.
 
 

Research / Clinical Trials

City of Hope is recognized internationally for its breakthrough research discoveries and clinical trials for novel new agents to treat multiple myeloma. We are the only Southern California member of the multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, a collaboration of the most prestigious research organizations focused on bringing promising new multiple myeloma treatments to patients.
 
City of Hope has long been a leader in developing promising new combinations of chemotherapy drugs, stem cell transplant procedures and radiation treatments. Current efforts include development of immunotherapy drugs, and we are one of the few institutions to begin T cell trials. With our extensive program of clinical trials, City of Hope can provide our patients access to novel therapies not yet available elsewhere.
 
For patients with relapsed myeloma, multiple treatment options are available, including both standard drugs and novel agents that are being tested in clinical trials.
 
To learn more about our clinical trials program,  click here.

Resources


City of Hope strives to make the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center an international model of compassionate care. It is one of the only institutions in the United States to offer this level of comprehensive support — dramatically improving the patient and family experience, as well as the ability of physicians and health care teams to provide exceptional medical care. The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center embodies the heart and soul of City of Hope’s mission to care for the whole person.
 
In the center, patients and their loved ones find the resources, education and support they need to better manage the challenges related to a serious illness. The Sheri & Les Biller Resource Center also offers a wide array of programs including educational classes designed to better prepare patients and caregivers for treatment, healing arts workshops, peer support groups, educational classes designed to better prepare patients and caregivers for treatment, and much more.
 
The center offers the services of:
 
  • Patient navigators
  • Pain and palliative care physicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Spiritual care chaplains
  • Child-life specialists
 
What Makes the Resource Center Unique
Our SupportScreen system enables new patients to report their psychological, spiritual, emotional, social, rehabilitative, physical and nutritional concerns. Members of the health-care team, such as physicians and nurses, learn about the results of patients’ screenings to ensure that they understand and respond to patients’ physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs.
 
Patient navigators tailor support services to match the needs of each patient and family. They address needs that are as diverse as patients needing help to deal with pain, to getting transportation to the medical center or overcoming other barriers.
 
Our programs are enhanced by input from the Patient and Family Advisory Council, a consistent voice for the patient and family perspective.
At the Positive Image Center, patients learn how to minimize the cosmetic side effects of illness or medical treatment. They consult with specially trained, licensed cosmetologists who offer guidance about skin care techniques, options for hair loss and much more. The setting is typically more private and soothing than a salon, where patients may be surrounded by people who might not understand their condition, concerns or physical needs.
 
Hope and Parson Village

In keeping with our mission to care for the whole person — physically and emotionally — City of Hope is one of the few cancer centers in the country to offer patients and their caregivers temporary, on-site housing in a comfortable, home-like setting.
 
Service and Amenities
The Hope and Parson Village includes 40 studio-style units that offer:
 
  • A double bed and a single bed
  • Television, VCR and DVD
  • In-room phones with quick access to the operator and security
  • TV lounge area for overnight visitors, adjacent to a complete kitchen with refrigerator/stove, and shower facilities
     
In addition, some rooms have handicap-accessible showers, and kitchenettes for patients with special dietary requirements or those needing a lengthy stay. The village also offers a laundry room with four washing machines and four dryers free of charge. A four-station computer area provides guests with Internet access. Tram service is also available for transportation on campus.
 
Transplant patients staying in the Hope and Parson Village also have access to all of the facilities available on campus, such as the Patient and Family Learning Center, Supportive Care Resource Desk, Positive Image Center cafeteria, automated teller machine and Pastoral Care Services.
Rates: Rooms are $65 per night.
 
Village Hospice

When cancer cannot be cured, patients and their families are confronted with many complex end-of-life issues. Understandably, many patients wish to spend their remaining days in a home-like setting where they can be with their loved ones — quietly and privately — while remaining close to their medical care team.

Set within our landscaped grounds, City of Hope’s Village Hospice is just such a place. Here, terminally ill patients and their families receive specialized care in garden apartments that include comfortable living quarters, full kitchens and handicapped accessible bathrooms.
 
Village hospice provides a peaceful environment for patients at the end of life, while preserving the patient’s dignity. The village is supported by Hospice of Pasadena/Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital’s hospice nurses and physicians and City of Hope staff.
 

Transplantation

Our Approach
 
City of Hope’s Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) program is one of the largest and most successful transplant centers in the world. As a pioneer in creating breakthrough treatments for all hematologic cancers and blood-related disorders, City of Hope’s Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) is a world leader in setting standards for stem cell transplantation and in improving long-term outcomes for both children and adults.
 
A Commitment to Care
 
Since City of Hope performed its first bone marrow transplant in 1976, more than 11,000 transplants have been completed for patients from virtually every state and around the world. City of Hope’s HCT program is dedicated to the traditional and newer uses of this procedure. Specialists at City of Hope lead the field of stem cell transplantation with excellent outcomes.Transplant patients at City of Hope have ranged  from younger than one to 79 years old.
 
Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) use stem cells (immature blood cells) as part of the treatment of a bone marrow disorder. HCT results in the replacement of a patient’s immune system with that of a healthy donor. City of Hope performs both allogeneic (donor) and autologous (from the patient) stem cell transplants.
 
City of Hope is renowned for developing innovative transplant regimens that have improved the cure rate for patients with:
 
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Other hematologic disorders
 
Long-term Follow-up Program
City of Hope recognizes the importance of maintaining contact with all transplant patients. Our transplant program established a formal Long-term Follow-up Program in 1998 that follows all patients who have received a transplant at City of Hope. The Long-term Follow-up Program 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 continuing advice, information and care.
 
A Commitment to Create
 
A major focus for City of Hope researchers has been creating ways to reduce the incidence of major transplant risks such as infection and relapse. They publish their results in prominent peer-reviewed medical journals.
 
Nonmyeloablative (Mini) Transplants
One of these innovative protocols, nonmyeloablative transplants, has allowed patients who could not tolerate the traditional pre-transplant regiments to become candidates for the procedure.
 
Originally, pre-transplant protocols required high-dose chemotherapy and/or high-dose whole-body irradiation. For elderly patients or patients with other diseases, these protocols were too demanding and often excluded them from transplants. In order to improve both the safety of transplantation and its applicability to a larger number of patients, City of Hope developed an approach in 1998 for a “mini” transplant. These transplants rely less on the heavy doses of chemotherapy and radiation and more on the antitumor effects of the graft itself (known as a graft-versus-tumor effect). This novel approach has allowed for transplants in patients who are older, including patients in their 70s, who would previously not have been eligible for a transplant. These patients, with conditions such as leukemia, myeloma, lymphoma and myelodysplasia, have been significantly helped – even cured – by mini transplants.
 
About the Program
 
City of Hope’s Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the gold standard of excellence for blood and bone marrow transplant programs in the United States.
 
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 malignant lymphoma and Hodgkin 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.
 
National Cancer Institute Project Grant
The City of Hope’s HCT 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 hematologic cancer. The grant also allows researchers at City of Hope to develop laboratory-based clinical studies to extend the boundaries of HCT into new areas. These studies include the development of therapies incorporating the emerging sciences of gene transfer, molecular biology, radioimmunotherapy, cellular immunotherapy and genetics into allogeneic and autologous transplant.
 
HCT Partnership
Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Center partners with City of Hope to provide stem cell transplantation services to Kaiser Permanente health plan members. Kaiser Permanente patients needing a transplant have their procedures performed at City of Hope. Kaiser Permanente members have full access to City of Hope’s treatment programs, including new therapeutic approaches designed to improve outcomes and cure rates. Physicians from the Kaiser Permanente bone marrow transplant medical group are members of the City of Hope HCT program and work side-by-side with City of Hope staff. These physicians are responsible for all Kaiser Permanente patients under one unified program of patient care.
 
“Celebration of Life” Bone Marrow Transplant / HCT Reunion
Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow / hematopoietic cell transplant recipients and their families to attend the “Celebration of Life” event on the Duarte campus. More than 6,500 people from all over the United States and overseas attend the event. 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.

Transplant Reunion

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.
 
Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the "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. Each year, two patients who needed to find a donor prior to their transplant meet the individual who eventually saved their lives. These are donors who have registered with the National Marrow Donor Program. It is the first time patients and donors actually meet since the life-saving donation. There are currently one million potential donors on the Be the Match Registry who have volunteered to give the gift of life.
 
Learn more and watch a video about the Celebration of Life reunion.  
 
The annual reunion also enables physicians and researchers to advance the science of hematopoietic cell transplantation. Click to learn about and view a video of the Karl G. Blume-Gerhard Schmidt Memorial Lecture in Transplantation Biology & Medicine. 
 

Hematologic Cancers Team

What Makes City of Hope Special and other videos
Hematologic Cancers Support Groups
City of Hope is committed to making the process of becoming a patient here as easy as possible. Call 800-826-HOPE (4673) or complete the Schedule a Callback form.
Our treatment facilities are located throughout our 100+ acre grounds in Duarte, California as well as in  Antelope Valley, South Pasadena, Santa Clarita and Palm Springs.
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.
 
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.
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