Hematology Treatment Center
The Adult Hematology Treatment Center is one of the largest, most respected treatment centers in the world for patients with disorders of the blood and bone marrow. Our doctors will work with you to create a treatment plan that takes your individual needs into account.
About the Center
From its beginning, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has focused on the treatment of blood diseases. Over the past 60 years, Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital have built the Adult Hematology Treatment Center into one of the largest and most respected treatment centers in the world for patients with disorders of the blood or bone marrow.
Because hematological disorders take many different forms, your care team will include experts with specialized knowledge in treating your condition. Our physicians, radiologists, nurse practitioners, and other care providers follow a treatment approach attuned to the unique characteristics of each disease and to accommodating your individual needs as a patient.
The Center also conducts a wide range of clinical research, in which potential new therapies are tested and evaluated. Clinical trials give patients access to the latest, most advanced treatments available.
The Center provides treatment for patients with a wide array of conditions, including:
Anemia and other red blood cell disorders
In these conditions, the supply of red blood cells or hemoglobin (which carries oxygen to bodily tissues) declines. They include iron deficiency anemia, anemia of chronic disease, vitamin B12 deficiency, sickle cell anemia, and thalassemia.
Disorders of coagulation and thrombosis
Conditions in which the blood fails to clot properly or where patients have an increased tendency to form clots. Types include hemophilia, von Willibrand's disease factor V Leiden, and antiphospholipid syndrome.
White blood cell disorders
Conditions involving white blood cells, agents of the immune system which fight disease, including neutropenia and leukocytosis.
Conditions involving blood platelets needed for clotting, such as thrombocytopenia (ITP and TTP) and thrombocytosis.
Disorders of the bone marrow in which too many blood cells are produced. Types include: polycythemia vera, thrombocythemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and primary myelofibrosis.
Bone marrow failure disorders
Conditions of the bone marrow in which not enough blood cells are produced, such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia, and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.
Iron metabolism disorders
Conditions in which the body fails to process iron properly, such as hemochromatosis and porphyria.
Plasma cells and antibody production disorders
These conditions involve certain immune system cells and disease-fighting proteins. They include benign monoclonal gammopathy, cryoglobulinemia, and amyloidosis.
The Center also helps patients manage the taking of anticoagulant medications such as warfarin, low molecular weight heparin, and anti-platelet agents.
Other areas related to hematologic disorders we treat include:
- Anticoagulation management for warfarin, low-molecular-weight heparin, anti-platelet agents
- Antiphospholipid syndrome
- Antithrombin III deficiency
- Aplastic anemia
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- Benign monoclonal gammopathy
- Bone marrow failure syndromes
- Coagulation disorders
- Cold agglutinin disease
- Easy bruising
- Essential thrombocytosis
- Factor V leiden
- G6PD deficency
- Hemolytic anemia
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
- Iron metabolism disorders
- Myeloproliferative disorders
- Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
- Plasma cells and antibody production disorders
- Platelet disorders
- Polycythemia Vera
- Protein C deficiency
- Protein S deficiency
- Red blood cell disorders
- Sickle cell anemia
- Thrombotic disorders
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- von Willibrand's disease
- White blood cell disorders
Our Treatment Approach
The Center is dedicated to providing patients with expert medical care during the entire course of treatment, from diagnosis, to the delivery of therapy, to follow-up care once treatment is completed.
Dana-Farber has established the Adult Hematology Clinic specifically for adult patients with blood-related conditions.
Because therapy often consists of medications and blood products that are delivered intravenously (though a needle inserted into a vein), many patients receive treatment in a specially designed drug infusion suite. This allows us to monitor patients closely.
We also provide an array of specialized services to patients receiving blood-thinning (anticoagulant) medications. Nurses and nurse practitioners carefully monitor the results of lab tests and stay in close contact with patients, in person and by phone, to explain treatments and manage side effects.
Dana-Farber hematologists — physicians who specialize in blood disorders — are available to consult with your physician or provide a second opinion on your condition.
Patients at Dana-Farber and its partner in adult care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, have access to clinical trials of new treatments for hematological conditions.
The clinicians and staff at the Adult Hematologic Treatment Center specialize in treating blood disorders, including anemia, platelet disorders, and myeloproliferative disorders.
Hematologists are doctors who lead the treatment team. They work closely with hematopathologists, who help diagnose disease and guide the course of treatment. They both work with specialists in blood transfusion and nuclear medicine, who play key roles in treatment.
Backing up their work are laboratories that evaluate patients' health and the effectiveness of treatment.
A personal, professional touch is added to each patient's treatment with the services of an expert nursing and social work staff.
Nancy Berliner, MD, Division Chief
Elizabeth Battinelli, MD
Nathan T. Connell, MD, MPH
Jean M. Connors, MD
Mark A. Goldberg, MD
Robert I. Handin, MD
Dan L. Longo, MD
Ronald P. McCaffrey, MD
Maureen M. Okam, MD
Aric D. Parnes, MD
Gary Vanasse, MD
Elyse Mandell, MSN, RNCS, Nursing Director
Betty Rowe, RN BSN
Samira Sheth, NP
Paula Temoczko, NP
Christine Mitchell, LICSW
Larisa Patacchiola, LICSW
At Dana-Farber, scientists seek answers to fundamental questions about the causes and development of hematologic diseases, and strive to convert their findings into better treatments for patients.
At the level of cells and their basic processes, researchers are studying the genetic errors that cause blood-making cells to become "stalled" in an immature state — one of the hallmarks of myelodysplasia and other blood-related cancers. The advent of techniques for scanning the activity of thousands of genes at a time has vastly accelerated the pace of this work, yielding a variety of novel approaches to treatment.
Other efforts aim to deepen the scientific understanding of non-cancerous blood diseases such as sickle-cell disease, myelodysplasia (which results from faulty production of certain bone marrow or blood cells), anemia (a drop in the ability of the blood to transport oxygen), and other conditions. Insights into the underlying causes of these disorders are producing clues that may result in new and better therapies.
In the clinic, investigators are leading studies to determine how potential new therapies can be administered in effective and safe ways to patients. The Center is participating in a national study evaluating inhaled nitric oxide gas as an additional measure for treating pain associated with sickle-cell disease. Another study is evaluating whether a cell-free hemoglobin solution can relieve such pain.
Other clinical projects focus on bleeding conditions and abnormal blood clotting. One study is exploring whether hemophilia A patients can benefit from receiving a long-acting blood-clotting compound called Factor VIII. Another is examining ways of reducing thrombocytopenia, a condition in which there are abnormally few platelets in the blood.
New patient inquiries: 617-732-6089
Referring physicians: 617-732-6089
All other inquiries: 617-732-5190
Hematology Clinic ScheduleMonday through Friday
Clinic AddressAdult Hematology Treatment Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA 02215-5450
Brigham and Women's Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115