The Hematology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital offers the most comprehensive services for the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers in the region. Our services are designed to meet each patient’s physical, emotional and psychological needs. Physicians within the program are organized into a multispecialty team that discusses the treatment plans for patients until consensus is reached on the best management course for each individual patient.
About Our Hematology Program
Physicians and scientists are still trying to grasp the causes behind myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma, the three major groups of blood cancers. But there is positive news: Advances in cancer care, some of which came from research at Yale Cancer Center, are increasing survival rates, leading to better blood cancer treatments and curing an increasing number of patients with these blood diseases.
At Smilow Cancer Hospital, we have an expert hematopathology diagnostic team capable of pathologic review of lymph nodes and bone marrow with in-depth molecular and cytogenetic analysis. Every diagnostic technique is available including: bone marrow examination, bone imaging, M protein analysis, cytogenetics, immunophenotyping, and FISH and PCR analysis. Diagnostic analysis also includes relevant genetic testing and the identification of markers of prognosis. Yale Cancer Center maintains a tissue bank used for novel research studies in blood cancer treatment and prevention.
Our physicians are finding particular success treating patients with various blood cancer types such as lymphoma, the most common blood cancer, now curing up to 80 percent of patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Dramatic advances have also been made in therapy for certain forms of leukemia, for example, with the development of molecularly targeted therapies such as Gleevec® for a leukemia termed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The outlook for patients with myeloma, another blood cancer, has also significantly improved over the last decade, with the introduction of new therapies such as thalidomide and bortezomib.
Patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital have the advantage of easy access to a disease-based multispecialty team with special interest and clinical expertise treating lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma. Physicians in medical oncology, hematology and radiation oncology meet regularly to discuss patient care and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan unique for each patient.
Patients and referring physicians can be assured of continuity of care. Referring physicians receive a summary of the transplant procedure and most patients return to their physician within two months of a stem cell transplant. Local referring physicians are welcome to and often participate in the Lymphoma Tumor Board to discuss the history and care of their patient with Yale Medicine physicians. Coordination continues with home care and supportive oncology, both integral parts of the treatment plan. Smilow Cancer Hospital has an extensive second opinion practice and collaborates with out-of-area physicians to coordinate patient care locally.
Additionally, patients have access to caregivers who help them cope with the physical, emotional and psychological issues related to these cancers. Advanced Practice Nurses and Social Workers assist with education, general information and practical issues of travel and accommodation assistance.