Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Opens One of the Nation’s First Programs for Patients with Inherited Blood Cancer

SEATTLE — April 30, 2018 — The clinic is staffed by a hematologist, medical geneticist, genetic counselor, and a hematology nurse.  SCCA is one of only a few cancer centers in the nation to offer this individualized care.

Patients and families may be referred for clinical assessment and care based on their personal or family history, identification of mutations in genes associated with inherited predisposition to cancer found using genetic testing of tumor samples, or during evaluation for future hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

“The diagnosis and follow-up care of individuals with inherited cancer risk, and specifically, blood cancer, which is my area of expertise, matters to the individual patient and their family as it may inform immediate treatment decisions, appropriate follow-up care, and family planning” said Siobán B. Keel, MD, hematology specialist at SCCA who will serve as director of the new specialty clinic.

The clinic is staffed and co-directed by a multidisciplinary team of national experts representing hematology Siobán B. Keel, MD, medical genetics Marshall S. Horwitz, MD, PhD, and genetic counseling Mercy Laurino, MS, CGC, PhD who are dedicated to identifying and caring for individuals who have an increased risk of cancer due to a genetic risk.

In addition to their clinical expertise, Dr. Keel’s and Dr. Horwitz’s research programs have contributed to the development of clinical diagnostic methods for these disorders and the identification of several inherited syndromes with predisposition to develop blood cancer. Dr. Laurino has extensive expertise in providing counseling to patients and family members surrounding inherited risk of cancer.

Services offered to individuals and families at SCCA’s Hematologic Malignancy Genetics Clinic include:

  • Cancer risk assessment and genetic testing
  • Cancer prevention counseling and strategies
  • Evaluation to inform optimal hematopoietic stem cell transplant donor selection and preparatory regimen for individuals with a hematologic disorder and a family history concerning for an underlying inherited disorder, and  
  • Long-term follow-up of patients with known or suspected familial bone marrow failure syndromes or inherited hematologic malignancy predisposition syndromes

Media Contact:
Fred Hutch Media Team