Blood disorders

Treatment

At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), our world-class experts provide comprehensive, team-based treatment for blood cancers and other disorders that affect the blood, bone marrow or immune system.

Being diagnosed with a blood disorder can feel overwhelming. We have an experienced, compassionate team ready to help. 

Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

Blood disorders expertise at SCCA

Everything you need is here

SCCA has hematologists and hematologist-oncologists who specialize in blood cancers and nonmalignant blood diseases; the most advanced diagnostic, treatment and recovery programs; and extensive support.

Benign Not cancer. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues.
Innovative blood disorder therapies

Our patients have access to advanced therapies, including those being explored in clinical studies conducted here and at our founding organizations Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine. Our doctors and scientists have pioneered many blood disorders treatments, and we advance new therapies every day. 

Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease.
Blood disorder treatment tailored to you

Your SCCA team develops an individualized treatment plan for you based on your specific disease, the severity, how it has progressed, your age, your overall health and your family history. We combine these factors with the latest scientific knowledge and our experience treating many other people who’ve faced the same illness.

Treatment plan A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A treatment plan may also include information about how much the treatment is likely to cost and about regular follow-up care after treatment ends.
Team-based approach

Along with your hematologist or hematologist-oncologist, nurses and nurse case manager, we’ll involve additional experts who specialize in treating people with blood disorders and cancer if you need them — experts like a radiation oncologist, social worker, physical therapist, palliative care professional or dietitian.

Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.
Ongoing care and support

During and after treatment, your team provides follow-up care as well as support on a schedule tailored to you. We understand that your disease and treatment might impact nearly every aspect of your life, and we’re here to help you cope with the physical, practical and emotional effects. 

Treatment options

The doctors at SCCA treat a wide range of blood disorders using the latest therapies with an eye to providing care to you as a whole person. We’ll clearly explain all your options, which treatment course we believe is best for you and why. 

Depending on your particular diagnosis, treatment might include:

  • Growth factors to stimulate blood cell production
  • Steroids or other drugs to suppress your immune system
  • Chemotherapy to destroy abnormal cells
  • Transfusions to support you with healthy blood cells
  • Gene therapy to replace or deactivate a disease-causing gene or to introduce a disease-fighting gene
  • Immunotherapy to harness the power of your own immune system to fight disease

Learn More About Immunotherapy

Bleeding disorders like hemophilia may call for blood-component therapies, such as platelet transfusions or clotting factors. Diseases that involve clotting might require drugs that reduce the risk of clots forming.

Some conditions require a bone marrow transplant to replace your marrow stem cells with healthy ones. Doctors at the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA have performed more than 16,000 bone marrow transplants — more than any other institution in the world.

Learn More About Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Bone marrow transplant The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Because this treatment destroys the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells, bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Gene The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Platelet A tiny, disc-shaped piece of a cell that is found in the blood and spleen. Platelets help form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding and to help wounds heal. A tiny, disc-shaped piece of a cell that is found in the blood and spleen. Platelets are pieces of very large cells in the bone marrow called megakaryocytes. They help form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding and to help wounds heal. Having too many or too few platelets, or having platelets that do not work as they should, can cause problems. Checking the number of platelets in the blood may help diagnose certain diseases or conditions. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells. Steroid A type of drug used to relieve swelling and inflammation. Some steroid drugs may also have antitumor effects.