Hematological Malignancies (Blood Cancer) Program


The Penn Difference

Innovative Research…Advanced Medicine…Service Excellence

  • Nationally recognized experts with extensive experience in hematologic malignancies
  • Advanced diagnostic testing, treatments and technologies
  • Coordinated care throughout the experience
  • Support services and education programs
  • A reputation for sensitivity and responsiveness
  • Personalized attention
  • Innovative clinical trials
  • The backing of a major research program with immediate translation to patient care

What sets Penn’s Hematologic Malignancies Program apart?

Penn’s program is one of the oldest and largest in the country. By putting our experience to work, we offer the best possible treatment outcomes.

Our multidisciplinary hematologic malignancies team has dedicated their clinical and research careers to improving the field of hematologic malignancies.

It is this relentless pursuit for the very best clinical outcome and quality of life that drives Penn’s Hematologic Malignancies Program.

Penn’s Hematologic Malignancies Program is comprised of our programs for:

Penn’s program is distinguished in a number of ways:

Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant

  • Penn has one of the few Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Biology Research Programs in the country that is approved and funded by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Penn has one of the largest and most experienced teams of transplant oncologists who have been working together for years.
  • Penn has a dedicated hospital unit that is not only well equipped to support transplant patients, but also experienced nurses who understand the personal issues faced during transplant.
  • Started in 1987, the autologous (an individual's own marrow saved before treatment) transplant program has been under the direction of Edward Stadtmauer, MD since 1992.
  • We have performed over 2700 autologous transplants since the program’s inception.
  • Penn’s allogenic transplant program (marrow donated by someone else), has performed over 660 allogeneic transplants since its inception in 1996 including myeloablative and non-myeloablative transplants utilizing both related and unrelated donors.
  • Penn pioneered the clinical trial using autologous transplant for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This led to national trials which resulted in the use of autologous transplant as the standard of care for AML .
  • Our high priority national clinical trial, for high risk and metastatic breast cancer, showed that autologous transplant versus conventional therapy did not increase survival. This trial has held up as a model for other comparison trials and altered the course of breast cancer therapy throughout the nation and the world.
  • Our decisive finding demonstrating the ability of activated T-cell infusions to re-establish immune function after transplant for Multiple Myeloma has the potential to lead to tumor specific vaccine therapies for many different diseases.
  • Our Program is an approved transplant facility by the National Marrow Donor Program. (link to them)
  • Penn clinician pioneered the revolution regarding the availability of alternate donors both from mismatched sibling and unrelated volunteers.
  • Our investigators showed the value of blood derived stem cell transplant and the use of less toxic non-myeloablative preparatory regimens, which have greatly improved the outcome and decreased the toxicity of allogeneic transplant.
  • Our prestigious trials comparing the non-myeloablative approach to autologous transplant in Multiple Myeloma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma led the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to fund a prestigious five year multi-million dollar Specialized Center of Research Award to investigators within the Program to further these innovative trials.
  • Our clinicians and investigators are active throughout the region in providing educational events for patients and health care providers.
  • Our faculty also serve as medical advisors for area outreach organizations, such as the Multiple Myeloma Networking Group and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our clinicians have received numerous awards for their outstanding patient support activities.

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Penn's Leukemia Program

  • The Leukemia Program began in 1975 and since 1999 has been under the direction of Selina Luger, MD.
  • The Leukemia Program is the largest program in the tri-state area. Over 320 new patients are seen each year.
  • Penn has one of the largest and most experienced teams of leukemia specialists who have been working together for years.
  • When inpatient treatment is required, patients are cared for in a dedicated inpatient oncology unit staffed by physicians, nurses and pharmacists with expertise in these diseases.
  • The Program offers patients cutting edge therapy options including innovative in-house clinical trials as well as national multi-institutional trials such as Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) trials.
  • Penn pioneered the clinical trial using autologous transplant for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This led to national trials which resulted in the use of autologous transplant as the standard of care for AML.
  • Dr. Luger is the principal investigator of a number of ECOG trials and the program is one of most successful participants in these trials.
  • Penn has one of the few Hematologic Malignancy (leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma) Research Programs in the country that is approved and funded by the National Cancer Institute.
  • A number of our junior faculty were recently awarded Leukemia and Lymphoma Society career development awards designed to foster the next generation of leaders in this field.
  • Our clinicians and investigators are active throughout the region in providing educational events for patients and health care providers.
  • Our faculty also serve as medical advisors for area outreach organizations, such as the Multiple Myeloma Networking Group and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
  • Our clinicians have received numerous awards for their outstanding patient support activities.

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Penn’s Lymphoma Program

Penn’s program is distinguished in a number of ways:

  • The Lymphoma Program, under the direction of Stephen J. Schuster, MD, is one of the largest programs in the Delaware Valley. A major accomplishment of the program is the development of a number of immunologic approaches to lymphoma treatment that have been completed.
  • Penn is currently leading the largest NCI initiated multi-institutional trial investigating patient specific vaccination as therapy for follicular lymphoma.
  • Penn has developed strategies to decrease the immune suppressive toxicities of conventional therapies for lymphoma.
  • Penn clinicians and researchers are actively investigating response to monoclonal antibody therapy and mechanisms of enhancement of cytotoxicity of monoclonal antibodies.
  • The Lymphoma Program has pioneered the use of innovative diagnostic procedures such as the positron emission tomography (PET) in the diagnosis and treatment planning in lymphoma.
  • The Program was a pioneer in the use of chemotherapy (4HC) purged bone marrow transplantation both for non-Hodkin lymphoma (NHL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
  • Penn has one of the few Hematologic Malignancy (lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma) Research Programs in the country that is approved and funded by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Penn has one of the largest and most experienced teams of lymphoma specialists who have been working together for years.
  • Penn has a dedicated hospital unit that is not only well equipped to support transplant patients, but also experienced nurses who understand the personal issues faced during transplant.
  • Our clinicians and investigators are active throughout the region in providing educational events for patients and health care providers.
  • Our faculty also serve as medical advisors for area outreach organizations, such as the Multiple Myeloma Networking Group and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
  • Our clinicians have received numerous awards for their outstanding patient support activities.

Penn’s Multiple Myeloma Program

Penn’s program is distinguished in a number of ways:

  • Penn has one of the few Hematologic Malignancy (leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma) Research Programs in the country that is approved and funded by the National Cancer Institute.
  • The Multiple Myeloma Program, led by Edward Stadtmauer MD, is the largest program in the Delaware Valley and one of the largest in the nation.
  • Penn has one of the largest and most experienced teams of multiple myeloma specialists who have been working together for years.
  • Penn has a dedicated hospital unit that is not only well equipped to support transplant patients, but also experienced nurses who understand the personal issues faced during transplant.
  • Our doctors designed and oversaw trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and conducted by major centers nationwide. The results of these clinical trials prompted major changes in practice that reverberated throughout the nation.
  • Since the mid 1990’s, Multiple Myeloma has become the most common indication for autologous transplant in North America. This is reflected in our clinical and research activity. Penn investigators have been in the forefront of the study of this modality in myeloma including CD34+ purging, adoptive immunotherapy with activated autologous T-cell infusions and the development of comparative trials of autologous and non-myeloablative allogeneic transplant for Multiple Myeloma.
  • In a clinical trial, the results of which were published in 2005, Penn investigators demonstrated for the first time the ability of activated T-cell infusions to re-establish immune function after transplant for Multiple Myeloma. This seminal finding has the potential to lead to tumor specific vaccine therapies for many different diseases.
  • The Program offers patients new therapies for the treatment of myeloma by translating the latest developments in drug discovery and laboratory into treatment approaches. Some of these innovative therapies include:
    • double autologous transplant versus autologous transplant followed by non-myeloablative allogeneic transplant;
    • immune-based therapy utilizing CD3/28 costimulated autologous T-cells infusion after autologous transplant;
    • new chemotherapy agents such as Bortezomib (Velcade) and Lemalimide (Revlimid) and
    • cutting edge investigations into novel agents such as Prolixin for Multiple Myeloma and antiCD40 monoclonal antibodies.
  • The Program has provided numerous educational symposia for patients and health care providers over the past several years as well as in the development of educational materials in association with the Patient and Family Services Program of the Abramson Cancer Center.
  • Dr. Stadtmauer is the medical advisor for the Philadelphia area Multiple Myeloma Networking Group which is among the largest support groups in the nation devoted to myeloma patients and their families.
  • Our clinicians have received numerous awards for their outstanding patient support activities.

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