Physician Photo

Karen Kuhn (Karen) Ballen, MD

Clinical Director, Leukemia Program

  • Phone: 617-724-1124
Department of Medicine


  • Cancer Center
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Leukemia
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
Clinical Interests
Cord blood transplantations
Bone marrow transplant
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, Dartmouth Medical School
Residency, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Board Certifications
Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
Hematology, American Board of Internal Medicine
Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients

Harvard College, AB magna cum laude, History and Literature, 1982
Dartmouth College, MD, 1986

Internal Medicine Internship and Residency, Beth Israel Hospital Boston, 1986-1989.
Hematology/Oncology Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston 1989-1992

Attending Physician Appointments:
Transplant Physican, Brigham and Women's Hospital and
 Children's Hospital, Boston 1992-1995
Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, UMass Memorial Health Care 1995-2002
Acting Division Director, Medical Oncology, U Mass Memorial Health Care 2000-2002
Director Leukemia Program, Massachusetts General Hospital 2002- present

My career has focused on the care of patients with leukemia and patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplants. I have a particular interest in patients who do not have a matched donor and may be interested in transplants using umbilical cord blood. Although I enjoy doing clinical research to continually improve outcomes,excellent and compassionate patient care is my primary concern and fulfillment. Our Leukemia Program provides state of the art care for patients with acute and chronic leukemias. We look forward to meeting you.

Research My research involves improving the outcomes of treatments for leukemia and transplantation. We have several protocols especially designed for older patients with leukemia. I have a particular interest in umbilical cord blood transplantation for those patients who do not have a matched donor.


  • Ballen KK, et al: Collection of Cord Blood for Personal Use. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2008
  • Yusuf RZ, et al, Ballen KK: Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation with a Dose Reduced Busulfan and Cyclophosphamide Regimen in Older Patients with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Bone Marrow Transplantation 2009
  • Ballen KK, et al: Outcome of transplantation for myelofibrosis. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2010
  • Cutler C, Ballen KK: Reduced Intensity Conditioning and Cord Blood Transplantation in Adults. Bone Marrow Transplant; 2009; 44: 667-71.

Hematology/Oncology BMT Program
100 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114-2606

Phone: 617-724-1124
Fax: 617-724-1126