Leukemia Overview
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists of Fred Hutch, Seattle Children's, and UW Medicine. One extraordinary group whose sole mission is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for our patients. Learn More


Leukemia is cancer of the bone marrow and blood. There are several types of leukemia—categorized by the type of blood cell affected and how quickly the disease progresses—each with different treatment options and outlooks. Visit the links below for specific information on the four types most common in adults.

For information on leukemia in infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, visit our section on pediatric leukemia

Better Survival Rates for Leukemia

Studies have shown that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. On average, leukemia patients who begin their treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) have better survival rates than those who started treatment elsewhere. Our patients diagnosed with leukemia receive expertly targeted, comprehensive care from a team of specialists who focus almost exclusively on treating a specific type of leukemia.

Access to Clinical Studies

SCCA, with its founding organizations Fred Hutch and UW Medicine, is a world leader in leukemia research and was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. For people with leukemia, this means more treatment options than you might find elsewhere, including the chance to participate in a clinical study for leukemia.

Our researchers pioneered one of the most effective leukemia treatments, bone marrow transplantation, more than 40 years ago. We continue to advance the use of transplantation and to research other key leukemia treatments, such as new or improved chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy; new combinations of treatments; and diagnostic tools like UW-OncoPlex, which tests tumors for the presence of characteristic genetic mutations, helping doctors plan effective care.

A Leader in Bone Marrow Transplant

Depending on the specifics of your leukemia, you may have several treatment options. If your condition requires a bone marrow transplant, you should know that the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA is a leader in transplants. For example, we are pioneering reduced-intensity transplants, are developing transplant options for people who have not found a matched donor, and developed a comorbidity index that predicts which people are the best candidates for transplant. These advances are making transplant an option for people who might not otherwise be considered for the procedure.

In addition, we are one of 15 centers whose transplant patients achieved higher-than-expected survival rates, according to a multi-year study by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. The study compared patients at more than 165 bone marrow transplant centers in the United States. We’ve performed more bone marrow transplants than any other institution in the world.