Leukemia is a cancer that begins in blood-forming tissues of the body, such as bone marrow. Although people often think of leukemia as a childhood disease – primarily because it accounts for 30 percent of childhood cancer cases and is the chief cause of death by disease in children ages 1 to 14 – it actually is diagnosed 10 times more often in adults.
At The James, we have experts in this highly specialized field who have dedicated their lives to supporting and caring for leukemia patients and their families. Our team approach provides the best research and treatment, putting our physicians and researchers on the leading edge of advances in detecting and treating leukemia. Our leukemia program differs from others in that our inpatient care unit is dedicated solely to patients with this diagnosis, with both physicians and nurses who are specialized in the management and complications of this disease. Leukemia management is a very specialized field that has changed dramatically over the past several years, emphasizing the importance of a physician/healthcare professional team focused on treatment of this disease.
Physicians and researchers at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute are continually seeking new answers to questions about leukemia. Recent research advancements include:
- Received a five-year, $6.25 million grant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to develop new therapies and improve current therapies for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), one of the most common forms of adult leukemia.
- Received a five-year, $11.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study biological mechanisms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and translate basic research findings into clinical trials for patients with this disease.
- Receipt of multiple NCI grants to develop novel targeted therapies for acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This represents the signature statement of this program, to develop novel, non-toxic therapies for leukemia.
- Conducted a study showing that a new strain of transgenetic mouse offers the first animal model for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and should aid in the development of drugs for this disease.
- Participation on an international team of researchers led by Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, OSU cancer scholar and senior adviser, and OSUCCC Director Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, that has discovered multiple genetic markers that identify patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) who do not respond as effectively to standard treatment without these markers.
- A $6.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to continue assessing molecular markers in leukemia and how they may be linked to treatment and survival. Michael Caligiuri, MD, will lead several investigators working in six study areas involving approximately 500 leukemia patients.
- Received a $100,000 grant from The V Foundation for Cancer Research for a two-year study of a transgenic mouse model that may help clarify the role of a specific gene in disrupting normal biological processes and triggering leukemia and lympoma.
- Discovery of hairy cell leukemia by Bertha A. Bouroncle, MD.
- Development of pentostatin to treat hairy cell leukemia, other types of leukemia and graft-versus-host disease. This project was led by Eric Kraut, MD, and Michael Grever, MD.
- Development of fludarabine for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lymphoma. Research by Michael Grever, MD.
- Development of two monoclonal antibodies (rituximab and alemtuzumab) for the treatment of CLL.
- Original organizing members of an NCI-sponsored national consortium related to CLL. John Byrd, MD, and Michael Grever, MD, are focused on pharmacology of new therapies for the treatment of CLL.
This section of the Web site will give you access to:
If you have questions about leukemia, please call The James Line – a free cancer information resource and physician referral service – at 614-293-5066 or 1-800-293-5066 (outside Franklin County) or e-mail now. The James Line oncology nurses can
be reached Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (except weekends and