The specialists at the Cancer Institute treat leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma using the latest technology. When you arrive for an appointment, you meet with many specialists on the same day. Our treatment approach is collaborative and efficient, minimizing the stress of multiple appointments.
After we confirm a diagnosis, we work quickly. You typically meet with your team within three days of diagnosis to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options.
The AHN Cancer Institute is renowned for sophisticated, rapid treatment of blood cancers. We pioneered the area’s exclusive stem cell transplant program, and we use the latest techniques and technology to provide a comprehensive treatment plan. At our center, you will find:
- Advanced technology: Our renowned Hematology Program includes specialists dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders. We use sophisticated technology to diagnose leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, ensuring an even more targeted treatment process specific to the type of cancer you have. Our highly respected stem cell transplant program was the first in western Pennsylvania.
- Access to clinical trials: Our team evaluates your case personally every month to determine if there are new clinical trials that may be appropriate for you. We are able to make rapid recommendations for the best and latest treatment options, designed for you.
- Care for the whole person: We understand that cancer involves emotional healing, too. That’s why we have a Navigation Team to help you coordinate logistics and to answer all of your questions. We also have an oncology social worker who can provide devoted emotional support to patients and families, as well as support services to help you live comfortably during treatment.
Often, we can treat cancer using targeted therapy or chemotherapy. Sometimes, a stem cell transplant is necessary to completely remove the cancer. We work collaboratively to find the best treatment plan for you.
Treatment options for these types of cancer include:
- CAR T-Cell Therapy: Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell immunotherapy (CAR T-cell therapy) is an innovative treatment that can be used for aggressive forms of blood cancer, including certain types of leukemia and lymphoma. CAR T-cell therapy involves taking blood from a patient and then isolating the T-cells (disease-fighting immune cells).
Those cells are then sent to a lab where they are genetically re-engineered to produce chimeric antigen receptor (CARs) on their surface. CARs are proteins that allow T cells to recognize and kill cancer cells. They also may remain in the body long after the infusion has been completed and guard against cancer’s recurrence. These new “fighter” cells are frozen, returned to the hospital, and infused back into the patient to begin attacking the cancer.
- Chemotherapy: These medicines kill cancer cells, much like antibiotics kill bacteria. Because the drugs can damage normal cells, side effects can occur, including hair loss, nausea, or lowered blood counts. Fortunately, the body’s normal cells are more resilient and recover much better than cancer cells, so the side effects are usually temporary. We monitor you carefully and calculate your dose of chemotherapy to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects. Our oncology social workers and Navigation Team are available to answer questions and provide support.
- Targeted therapy: These medicines kill cancer cells by attacking specific genes within the tumor cells or in the surrounding blood vessels to stop the cancer from growing. Targeted therapy is very effective and typically causes fewer side effects compared to chemotherapy.
- Immunotherapy: These medicines stimulate your own immune system to fight cancer.
- Clinical trials: Our oncology team meets monthly to discuss the latest clinical trials, so you have access to a wide range of available cancer treatments.
We may recommend a stem cell transplant if your marrow doesn’t produce enough healthy cells. We might use cells from your own body or from a donor. During a stem cell transplant, we infuse healthy blood cells into your body to replace damaged bone marrow.
This procedure often leads to a cure. And at the Cancer Institute, you are in expert hands: The Allegheny Health Network Cell Transplantation Program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), which means we exceed standards of excellence. We have also earned the highest level of certification, Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI), for clinical quality and commitment to improvements.
You’re receiving treatment from highly specialized, trained hematologists with deep expertise in leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma disorders. You can expect a procedure that is:
- Pioneering: We were one of the first hospitals nationwide to join the National Marrow Donor Program. We draw from an extensive database of potential donors, resulting in less waiting time for a transplant. The Cancer Institute is also the only hospital in the region with a blood and marrow transplant program approved by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (ACTION). We’re at the forefront of the latest techniques and technologies designed to treat cancer.
- Comprehensive and convenient: Because our transplants take place on-site, you don’t need to travel or meet a new team of physicians. Your oncology team is with you every step of the way, with care that is compassionate, quick, and close to home. You’ll be closely monitored by the same devoted team for at least a month after your operation.
Call the AHN Cancer Help Line anytime at (412) NURSE-4-U (412) 687-7348 to schedule a cancer-related appointment or to just talk with our nurses about diagnoses, treatments, and side effects.