Clinical Trials

Blood Cancer Program, City of Hope Atlanta

Hematologic oncologists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers and other blood-related disorders. The doctors at the Blood Cancer Program at City of Hope Atlanta use a wide range of diagnostic tools, advanced treatment options and supportive care services for patients with hematologic malignancies.

Our Atlanta hematologic oncology team offers cancer care with a personalized approach, tailoring treatment plans to each patient's specific needs.

Blood cancer care at City of Hope

Patients in Atlanta and surrounding communities now have access to City of Hope’s coast-to-coast clinical network and one of the largest and most successful bone marrow transplantation (BMT) programs in the country.

City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and pioneer in the treatment of blood cancers, with more than 18,000 autologous and allogeneic BMT procedures performed to date. According to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, City of Hope’s bone marrow transplantation programs produce outcomes that consistently outrank other centers in the United States.

City of Hope’s bone marrow and stem cell transplant programs are national leaders in comprehensive, patient-centered blood cancer care that’s delivering advanced treatments to even more patients, with the sense of urgency they deserve.

Atlanta blood cancer treatment options

Blood cancers, also called hematologic malignancies, differ from other types of cancer because they develop in the body's blood cells and may not form tumors.

Your hematologic oncologist will work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan designed specifically for your type of cancer. Treatment for Blood cancers depends on a number of factors, such as the type of cancer, your age, how fast the cancer is progressing and if and where the cancer has spread. The Blood Cancer Program at City of Hope Atlanta offers patients a number of treatment options, including:

CAR T-cell therapy at City of Hope Atlanta

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a kind of immunotherapy, that uses the body’s own immune cells to fight cancer.

How does it work

A clinician removes blood from a patient, similar to the way a person might donate blood. A machine removes T-cells from the blood—a process called apheresis—and infuses the rest of the blood back into the body through a separate tube.

The T-cells are re-engineered in a lab with instructions to recognize and attack specific receptors on cancer cells. The modified T-cells are allowed to multiply, creating an army of millions of cancer-fighting immune cells.

The re-engineered T-cells are infused back into the body where they begin to seek out cancer cells, attach themselves to antigens on the cancer cell surface and kill them.

The doctors and clinicians at the Blood Cancer Program at City of Hope Atlanta are highly trained and experienced in CAR T-cell therapy and are there every step of the way.

Your care team will include a board-certified hematologic oncologist and other experts in blood cancer care. The team is dedicated to making sure you and your family are comfortable throughout your stay.

Learn more about CAR T-cell therapy.

Meet our Atlanta blood cancer doctors

The Blood Cancer Program experts at City of Hope Atlanta are committed to offering integrative, personalized treatments for blood-related diseases.

The Blood Cancer Program is led by Leslie Popplewell, MD, who brings more than 20 years of experience in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. After serving as Chief Fellow in Medical Oncology and Hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, Dr. Popplewell received specialized training through a Bone Marrow Transplantation fellowship at City of Hope in Duarte, California. Now she brings her extensive expertise in bone marrow transplants and CAR T cell therapy to City of Hope Atlanta.

Explore the links below to learn more about the team.

A comprehensive approach to blood cancer care

Our Blood Cancer Program team has expertise in diagnosing and treating hematologic diseases using sophisticated technologies and therapies delivered through a personalized approach to meet your needs. Our program includes both inpatient and outpatient treatment options.

When you first visit the hospital, you’ll meet with your program team, which includes a board-certified hematologic oncologist, to evaluate your condition and review your medical records. Your hematologic oncologist will then determine whether additional diagnostic tests, such as lab work, a bone marrow biopsy or imaging scans, are required before determining a treatment plan.

Once in treatment, you and your family are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of experts and specialists. A nurse care manager will help you navigate through questions or concerns.

You will also have access to an array of integrative care services, focused on helping you manage side effects, recover from treatment and improve your quality of life.

As part of our whole-person model of care, your City of Hope Atlanta blood cancer care team may recommend a range of supportive care services, such as: