Treatment Programs

Leukemia

The Center for Leukemia integrates the best in clinical care, research and support services to provide comprehensive, compassionate care for patients diagnosed with acute or chronic leukemia.

View open clinical trials

The Center for Leukemia at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides treatment for all types and stages of leukemia and related disorders, including: 

  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • acute myelogeneous leukemia
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • chronic myelogenous leukemia
  • hairy cell leukemia
  • lymphoblastic lymphoma
  • myelodysplasia
  • myelofibrosis

In many cases, patients can be seen within 24 hours of contacting the program.

Innovative Approaches Our program is internationally known for its level of subspecialist expertise in all areas of diagnosis and care as well as its access to clinical trials and state-of-the-art transfusion and blood product support. Among our key distinguishing factors are:

  • Hematopathology consultations from leading experts in the field, including the latest diagnostic tests, chromosome studies, molecular testing, and flow cytometry
  • Access to the Mass General Bone Marrow Transplant Program and to innovative and novel therapies such as umbilical cord blood transplantation and mismatched family member transplants
  • Affiliation with the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Technology to increase understanding of different types of leukemia at the stem cell level
  • Access to clinical trials
  • Innovative care for newly diagnosed and relapsed patients

Multidisciplinary Patient CareEvery patient treated at the Center for Leukemia has a multidisciplinary team of specialists that coordinates every aspect of his or her care. Leukemia is treated, in most cases, with chemotherapy alone, managed by medical oncologists. Some patients with leukemia will also be considered for bone marrow or stem cell transplantation. All patients of the Center for Leukemia have nurses who specialize in the treatment of leukemia, as well as social workers, nutritionists, physical therapists and other professionals on their care team.

Leukemia Treatments for Patients With Acute or Chronic Leukemia – Mass General

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging CancersEffective treatment and good outcomes depend on an accurate diagnosis, and the hematopathologists at the Center for Leukemia are world-renowned for their expertise in the diagnosis of the various types of leukemia. Due to its reputation, our pathology department examines a large number of tissue samples. This volume enables each pathologist to develop a high level of specialized knowledge about a particular type of cancer and to keep up-to-date on new research.

The pathology department also conducts a high number of evaluations of samples in order to offer second opinions.

State-of-the art technology further enhances the capacities of the pathology department, including:

  • Advanced microscopy with the highest level of magnification available
  • 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 cancer cells that deliver more precise diagnoses and offer new options for treatment

Hematology/OncologyMost types of leukemia are treated with chemotherapy. The medical hematologists/oncologists at the Center for Leukemia each have a high level of sub-specialization. Patients are matched with oncologists who have distinct expertise in treating their particular type of cancer. The Center for Leukemia is closely affiliated with the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, where innovative techniques such as umbilical cord blood transfusion and the ability to conduct a transplant with a mismatched family donor offer more options to patients.

Treating Cancer through Clinical TrialsThe Cancer Center conducts an ever-increasing number of clinical trials using the most novel medicines and treatment strategies available. Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Leukemia has access to numerous clinical trials in which these novel approaches are tried, including:

  • Drugs that bind to mutations in the Flt-3 receptor that cause a type of leukemia called acute myelogeneous leukemia (AML)
  • Trials of therapies for patients with chronic myelogeneous leukemia (CML) who are unresponsive to Gleevec
  • Special treatment regimens designed for older patients 

View our open clinical trials for leukemia.

Developing Better Therapies through ResearchThe Center for Leukemia works closely with scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Cancer Center laboratories to further the understanding of this disease, develop more powerful techniques for diagnosing, and ultimately, to deliver more potent therapies that improve patients’ outcomes and their lives.

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood in which too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced in the bone marrow.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a cancer of the blood in which too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced in the bone marrow.

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 Room

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides cancer patients and their families with information and resources for living with cancer.

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.

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.

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 Room

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides cancer patients and their families with information and resources for living with cancer.

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.

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 Center for Leukemia

Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-724-1124

Explore your treatment options

Learn more about the specialized treatment options our experienced medical teams provide for each type of cancer.