Duke’s nationally ranked leukemia program uses the latest medical advances to detect and treat leukemia at the earliest possible stage. Our board-certified specialists have the training and expertise needed to treat all cancers of the blood or bone marrow including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (lymphoma), chronic myelogenous leukemia, and hairy cell leukemia (lymphoma). Our goal is to give you the personalized care you need to bring you back to good health and maximize your quality of life.
Leaders in leukemia treatment
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with leukemia, we are here to offer the latest treatment options. As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we offer a level of expertise that can only be found in the top four percent of cancer centers in the country. Our team of specialists work only with leukemia and blood cancer patients, focusing their careers on diagnosing and treating leukemia and other blood cancers. We work as a team to plan a comprehensive treatment strategy for you that uses the most effective therapies, including many that were developed right here at Duke. Learn more about our pediatric leukemia program, and our latest innovations and treatments for children.
Choose Duke for your leukemia treatment because we offer:
- The largest treatment center in North Carolina. We see thousands of patients each year, and treat nearly 1,000 patients a year with some form of a blood cancer, more than any other facility in North Carolina.
- Pioneering leukemia treatment options. Our team of researchers bring new discoveries to the clinic every day, developing and providing more treatment options than most cancer centers. We are constantly researching new treatment options for leukemia and looking for ways to improve the patient care experience.
- Novel therapies developed by our researchers. Novel techniques such as non-ablative (skin-protecting) stem cell transplants, pioneered in part at Duke, are now offering new hope for patients with leukemia. We were a part of a national study that determined chronic myeloid leukemia patients taking imatinib (Gleevec) can expect to have long-term survival compared to those with traditional interferon-alpha therapy, which is now used at many medical centers across the country.
- Leukemia expertise. Our team of experts at Duke Cancer Center work exclusively with leukemia patients, providing you with personalized care specific to your diagnosis. Diagnosing and treating leukemia is all we do.
- Access to our clinical trials. When traditional approaches aren’t successful, we offer a wide range of clinical trials. Our ongoing clinical trials test new anti-cancer targeted therapies and ways to minimize common cancer-related symptoms, as well as patient concerns, before they become widely available at other hospitals.
- A team of specialists. Our leukemia specialists — medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, dermatologists, palliative care, psychologists, infectious disease doctors, radiologists, specially trained nurses, nutritionists and social workers — meet regularly to discuss your care, collect opinions, and offer coordinated and advanced medical and follow-up care.
- Personalized care and support for you and your loved ones. We take a holistic approach to address not just your medical and physical needs, but also your psychological, emotional and social needs. Our comprehensive support services care for you throughout your leukemia treatment journey — from lodging and on-site food services to nutritional and financial counseling.
- Comforting environment. Our new Duke Cancer Center features spacious waiting areas, a Quiet Room, large infusion rooms, and a rooftop garden area where patients — based on their treatment regimen — can receive chemotherapy outdoors.
- Support for your whole being. Our comprehensive cancer support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. These services include nutrition counseling, palliative care, guided imagery, anxiety control, and meditation. Our cancer survivorship clinic pulls together a range of resources specially designed to help survivors after treatment ends. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.
Our team of oncologists, nurses, pharmacists and researchers work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. We use the most effective treatments and therapies, including many that were developed right here at Duke. We have many novel therapies available through clinical trials that are not yet available at most other treatment centers.
An option for people with chronic leukemia and pregnant women. This approach involves closely monitoring the patient and regularly performing tests and exams to look for changes. If changes occur, a more extensive treatment plan is implemented.
Also called immunotherapy, this drug boost the immune system’s own ability to fight the cancer. Biologic therapy is an area of research and an option for some patients who don't respond to other treatments.
Chemotherapy kills or slows the growth of cancer cells. Systemic chemotherapy is administered to the whole body via oral medication or an injection. It can be given in the hospital or at home.
Blocks the growth of cancer cells or interferes with processes that help cancer cells survive. Our leadership in research allows us to offer targeted therapies that treat the cancer while keeping you healthy. Monoclonal antibody therapy is a targeted therapy for leukemia that is administered orally. The monoclonal antibodies attach to substances that make cancer cells grow, then kill the cancer cells or halt their growth. Imatinib is another targeted therapy used to treat leukemia.
Leukemia damages the cells in the bone marrow where healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are made. Blood and bone marrow transplant restores your healthy cell function by killing the leukemia cells and replacing them with healthy cells. This is called a blood or bone marrow transplant. The most common transplant for leukemia is a donor transplant (allogeneic).This is a very intensive and complex treatment. Determining if transplant is right for you is part of the expert care you will receive at Duke. Learn more about blood and bone marrow transplants.
This highly specialized genetic testing allows our experts to examine your genetic make-up, pinpoint your specific diagnosis, and determine your treatment needs. We perform genetic testing on a molecular level, a capability that is not available at most other cancer centers.
Removes a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Biopsy is the only definitive diagnosis of cancer, and may also be used to determine if cancer has spread to surrounding tissue, including your lymph nodes.
Our diagnostic imaging capabilities give you the full spectrum of of imaging technology, including MRI, PET and CT scans, to help further diagnose and recommend the best treatment plan.