Treatment Programs

Hematology

The Center for Hematology offers comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and referral for all blood disorders, ranging from simple anemia to clotting disorders to major hematological cancers.

The Center for Hematology is a full service facility for all blood disorders, both non-cancerous and cancerous. Our program also offers follow-up and referral within Massachusetts General Hospital or all hematology conditions. These include:

  • Anemias
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Clotting disorders
  • Anticoagulation problems
  • Leukemias
  • Lymphomas
  • Myeloproliferative disorders (essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis, chronic myeloid leukemia)
  • Plasma cell disorders
  • Platelet disorders
  • Lysosomal storage diseases
  • Porphyria
  • Hemachromatosis
  • Hematological complications of pregnancy

Innovative ApproachesWe have extensive experience treating patients with all degrees of blood conditions, from those that do not require treatment to those that require long-term and complex treatment. Among the many distinguishing factors of the Center for Hematology is our location within Mass General, which allows for a seamless transition of care in the event that other services and/or specialists are needed. Roughly one-third of blood-related conditions are cancerous or pre-cancerous; if appropriate, these cases can be immediately referred to specialized hematological malignancy teams within the Cancer Center. Other cases, which are not cancer but which still require treatment, monitoring or both, are monitored by the Center for Hematology or referred to other care centers within the hospital.

Our program has also become renowned for its world-class expertise in the specialized care of the following hematological conditions:

  • Platelet disorders: our team has developed novel therapies for patients with low platelet counts, called thrombocytopenia, and conducts clinical trials with a wide range of treatments. Our team has extensive sub-specialized expertise in treating immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
  • Reproductive Hematology: our program is one of a very few in the world that specializes in treating these difficult cases. We have unique collaborations with the high-risk obstetrics clinic at Mass General as well as the pediatric service for hematological conditions in children
  • Myeloproliferative disorders: we have specialists devoted to the care of patients with essential thrombocythemia, polythemia vera, myelofibrosis and chronic myeloid leukemia. Basic science research programs funded by the National Institutes of Health are underway in these disorders
  • Gaucher disease: our program treats a large number of patients with Type 1 Gaucher disease and collaborates with specialists in orthopedic surgery and genetics in caring for these patients and advising their families. Research studies with novel treatments for this disorder are currently under way
  • Thrombosis and hemostasis disorders: Supported by a large coagulation reference laboratory our program offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for both common and rare disorders. Clinical studies are underway with novel anticoagulants and in coagulation problems associated with pregnancy or cancer
  • Disorders of iron metabolism: Our program treats patients with iron excess, hemachromatosis, as well as individuals with problems of iron deficiency. Research studies and innovative therapies are available for both conditions

Multidisciplinary Patient CareOur program evaluates and manages the full range of blood disorders. Each patient’s care is directed by a single hematologist supported by a multidisciplinary team of specialized physicians and nursing staff, as well as a full range of support services, including social workers and psychiatrists, and nutritionists. Since blood-related conditions are treated almost exclusively with medications and/or transfusion therapy, each patients care team will include:

  • Hematopathologists who make timely and accurate pathological diagnoses
  • Medical oncologists for patients whose condition is cancerous
  • Transfusion Medicine specialists who provide transfusion support and transfusion-related procedures in the treatment of blood disorders
  • Clinical pathologists who provide sophisticated laboratory and coagulation testing

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging CancersAn accurate diagnosis is crucial to developing a successful treatment plan. The hematopathologists at the Center for Hematology are world renowned for their sub-specialized expertise in the diagnosis of blood diseases. Our specialists have extensive experience identifying even the most rare disorders, and their second opinions are sought by physicians around the country. State-of-the art technology further enhances the capabilities of the pathology department, including:

  • Flow cytometry technology that allows for the detection of minimal residual disease
  • A broad range of histochemical analyses
  • Cytogenetics technologies that examine the chromosomes of cells from samples of peripheral blood, bone marrow, or lymph nodes
  • Molecular evaluation techniques of blood and bone marrow cells that deliver more precise diagnoses
  • Coagulation laboratory testing to help diagnose coagulation and thrombosis problems

Advanced Medical TherapiesIn addition to our expert diagnostic, treatment and evaluation services, our program offers state-of-the-art drug and other therapies, including:

  • Blood product (red blood cells, platelets, plasma and coagulation factors) transfusion therapy and specialized blood therapies such as phlebotomy and plasmapheresis
  • Coagulation and anticoagulation therapies
  • Novel platelet and red cell growth factor treatment
  • Novel forms of intravenous iron therapy to treat deficiencies

Developing Better Therapies Through Research and Clinical TrialsOur program is committed to improving therapies for blood diseases. Learn more about Hematology Oncology research at the Cancer Center. With that goal in mind, our physicians and research scientists are involved in or leading numerous clinical trials for novel therapies for several disorders.

Find clinical trials for blood disorders.
Find Targeted Therapy Trials for blood disorders.

Anemias

There are many types of anemias that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.

Aplastic Anemia

Aplastic anemia occurs when the bone marrow produces too few red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, making the patient susceptible to infection and making it more difficult for blood to clot.

Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis, also called iron overload disease, is one of the most common genetic disorder in the US.

Hemophilia

Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding, or coagulation, disorder. Children with hemophilia lack the ability to stop bleeding because of the low levels, or complete absence, of specific proteins, called "factors," in their blood that are necessary for clotting.

Polycythemia Vera

Polycythemia vera is a rare blood disorder in which there is an increase in all blood cells, particularly red blood cells.

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder characterized by defective hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues of the body).

Thrombosis

Thrombosis occurs when clots obstruct veins (blood vessels that carry blood from the body back into the heart) or arteries (blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body).

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

Illuminations Program

Illuminations is a rotating art exhibit displayed in the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The program aims to enlighten and encourage patients and their loved ones by enhancing our environment of care.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

A pitcher’s promise

Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow walked off the baseball field and into patient rooms at MassGeneral Hospital for Children Sept. 15.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

Illuminations Program

Illuminations is a rotating art exhibit displayed in the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The program aims to enlighten and encourage patients and their loved ones by enhancing our environment of care.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

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Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-5130

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