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Hematology

Yale Hematology has a long tradition of excellence in diagnosing and treating blood disorders. We offer comprehensive clinical care and research programs in both nonmalignant and malignant hematologic diseases.

Our nationally and internationally renowned physicians are leaders in their areas of research and clinical expertise, and are committed to understanding the molecular basis of blood disorders and translating scientific discoveries to the clinic.

We offer treatment for all phases and stages of lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma. Although the causes of these cancers remain unknown, advances in treatment, some of which came from research at Yale, are increasing survival rates.

Our Services

As a leader in the treatment of hematologic cancers, Yale is a regional resource for difficult and challenging cases, with a large number of referrals coming from other hematologists and oncologists throughout New England. We work closely with the physicians at Yale Cancer Center both to provide primary care to patients referred for bone marrow transplant who are determined to be better served by nontransplant treatments, and to provide rapid referral of those patients who are candidates for stem cell transplant.

Our services are designed to meet each patient’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Our physicians form a multispecialty team that discusses and agrees upon the best course of treatment for each individual patient. Our care includes state-of-the-art expertise from laboratory medicine and hematopathology. Blood banking, phlebotomy, and pheresis services are part of our excellent care for hematologic disorders. Our nurse specialists, focusing on hematology/oncology patients, are essential participants in the health care team.

Special services offered by our section include:

  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
  • Diagnosis and management of difficult hematologic disorders
  • Outpatient and inpatient chemotherapy treatment
  • Molecular analysis of hematologic disorders

Our Approach

At our Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers across Connecticut, Yale Cancer Center physicians are dedicated to providing patients affected by cancer and blood diseases with individualized, innovative, convenient, and caring medical treatment. Each Smilow regional location collaborates closely with the local medical staff, as well as diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists. We bring the full expertise of our care teams, and local access to many cancer-related clinical trials into our community.

Our expert hematopathology diagnostic team conducts in-depth pathologic, molecular, and genetic analyses of lymph nodes and bone marrow. We offer all diagnostic techniques including bone marrow examination, bone imaging, M protein analysis, cytogenetics, immunophenotyping, and FISH and PCR analysis. Our 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 cancer treatment and prevention.

The overall aim of treatment is to bring about a complete remission. Our treatment approaches for blood cancers may include chemotherapy, radiation oncology, stem cell or marrow transplantation, or immunotherapy. For maximum effectiveness, we provide each patient with an individual treatment plan that includes standard care and/or clinical trials.

The blood cancers we are fighting are:

Lymphoma, is the most common blood cancer and the third most common cancer of childhood. The annual incidence of lymphoma has nearly doubled over the last three years. However, there have been rapid advances in the treatment of this disease and 80% of patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma can be cured.

Leukemia, is a malignant cancer of the bone marrow and blood. Approximately 35,000 patients are diagnosed with leukemia annually. The relative adult five-year survival rate has more than tripled in the past 45 years, qualified by age, gender, race, and type of leukemia. The leukemia death rate for children 0 to 14 years of age in the United States has declined 60% over the past three decades, due to modern treatment advances.

Myeloma, is a disease of another blood cell, the plasma cell. Annually, approximately 16,000 new patients are diagnosed with myeloma. Overall survival in patients with myeloma has shown a modest improvement since the 1970s. Yale is a member of the national Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium and is exploring novel treatment approaches to this cancer.

For more information about treating blood cancers, visit the Yale Cancer Center Hematology Program.

Other conditions we treat include disorders of:

  • Red blood cell production and coagulation
  • White blood cell production
  • Abnormal protein content in the blood
  • Genetic defects that causes abnormalities in hemoglobin
  • Hematologic disorders associated with other diseases