When the normal process of blood-cell growth and development (hematopoiesis) breaks down, a malignancy of the blood cells can arise, and one or another type of blood cell can be produced in abnormally large quantities.
Team Approach to Care
At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, state-of-the-art treatment for a variety of cancers that develop in the bone marrow, blood, or lymph nodes is carried out by the approximately 15 experts on the Hematology Disease Management Team. Each of the team members is experienced in the use of conventional and experimental chemotherapeutic approaches, as well as the use of either high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which can be the most effective treatments for these types of cancer.
Our team provides primary care for patients with a broad range of hematologic disorders, including patients with lymphoma who are eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation, patients with multiple myeloma who are receiving standard therapy as well as stem cell transplantation, and patients with unusual hematologic disorders requiring specialized therapy. The team provides high-dose chemotherapy treatments for lymphoma, leukemia, amyloidosis, and multiple myeloma and, in addition, treats a variety of other blood disorders characterized by the overproduction or underproduction of certain types of blood cells, including myelodysplasia and aplastic anemia.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering investigators are actively working to find new nontoxic treatments for hematologic diseases, such as vitamin therapies and vaccines, and to develop drugs and identify powerful natural substances called growth factors that can stimulate normal blood production. A number of growth factors, such as granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), have been identified by our investigators. Important clinical trials to evaluate the activity of novel growth factors are being conducted here.
Continuity of Care
Our strengths include effective working relationships with referring physicians and provision of new therapies in clinical trials. Our physicians promptly evaluate patients referred for consultation, provide office-based education for patients and their families, and are readily available to referring physicians to assure continuity of care.
Medical treatments for hematologic malignancies can decrease patients' strength and endurance and increase their fatigue. Patients may find it difficult to complete basic daily activities such as taking a shower or getting dressed. Walking or maintaining an active lifestyle may become a burden.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering's physical and occupational therapists are knowledgeable about the medical treatments provided to patients with hematologic malignancies. They can help patients combat the side effects of treatment and of cancer by teaching them specific therapeutic exercises and energy conservation techniques aimed at maintaining strength and endurance while decreasing fatigue in everyday life.
See Rehabilitation for further information about our services, including appointment information.