05/25/2012

WVU Healthcare offers new specialty service for blood cancers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Healthcare is forming a new specialty service for blood cancer patients diagnosed with lymphoma and myeloma. The Myeloma and Lymphoma Service will be part of the Osborn Hematopoietic Malignancy and Transplantation Program at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. The program provides transplant services for approximately 100 myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia patients each year.

“With this new service we will build a dedicated team with focused expertise in the care of patients with these complicated diagnoses,” Jame Abraham, M.D., Cancer Center medical director, said. “This will also serve as a platform to bring innovative treatment approaches to our Cancer Center and this region.”

The dedicated team for myeloma and lymphoma patients will consist of three Cancer Center physicians.

“Patient care is at the core of this new service,” said Mehdi Hamadani, M.D., who will lead the new service. “The more we focus on these blood cancers, the better we will understand them and the more we will know about the latest clinical trials for improved treatments for our patients. It’s been shown that patients who are treated at centers that offer specialty services like this, have better outcomes.”

Dr. Hamadani joined the Osborn Program three years ago and is recognized statewide and nationally as a leader in the field of myeloma and lymphoma. Working closely with Michael Craig, M.D., director of the Osborn Clinical Service, he has helped grow WVU’s clinical research on blood cancers. The number of clinical trials offered through the Osborn Program has more than doubled over the past three years.

“That means twice as many patients are getting better care than they would have previously,” Hamadani said.

His five-year goal for the Myeloma and Lymphoma Service is to offer two new clinical trials for every subtype of the diseases. He also wants to establish a tumor registry at WVU to track treatment and patient outcomes and create a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts who meet weekly to discuss individualized patient treatment plans.

“In West Virginia, the death rate for myeloma and lymphoma is among the highest in the country,” Scot C. Remick, M.D., Cancer Center director, said. “The new Myeloma and Lymphoma Service is a good example of how we are growing our cancer service line at WVU Healthcare to reduce our state’s cancer burden and disparities in hematological malignancies.”

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For more information:
Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
johnsa@wvuhealthcare.com
ss: 05-22-12

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