Northside launches new program for hematologic malignancies

Heme Malignancy Program

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute has launched a new Hematologic (Heme) Malignancy Program to expedite care for patients with blood cancers. 

The initiative, which began in January 2024 with an initial focus on multiple myeloma, aims to build support for all blood cancers. By streamlining diagnostic workups, offering comprehensive patient support and education, and facilitating referrals within the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, the program provides an expedited and seamless care experience for newly diagnosed blood cancer patients. 

Northside plans to expand the program to include additional tumor types under the malignant heme umbrella by the end of 2024. 

Why this matters: Hematologic malignancies — including leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) — are types of cancer that can affect the bone marrow, the blood cells, the lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a hematologic malignancy approximately every three minutes. 

  • An estimated 1,629,474 people in the U.S. are living with or in remission from a hematologic malignancy. 

Northside’s Heme Malignancy Program offers patients: 

  • Direct access to a dedicated blood cancer coordinator at diagnosis or any point during care 
  • A multidisciplinary team comprised of physicians from oncology, cellular therapy, radiation oncology, orthopedics, nephrology and others 
  • Phase I-III clinical trials, including newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory cases 
  • Novel therapies and strategies, including immunotherapy and CAR T-cell therapy, one of the most promising cellular-based cancer immunotherapies available for the treatment of multiple myeloma 
  • Advanced practice providers, as well as psychosocial therapists, dietitians, physical therapists and state-of-the-art facilities to ensure the delivery of comprehensive care 
  • Consultation assistance to facilitate care and transition to other specialties, such as Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Immune Effector Cell (IEC) programs 
  • Education and resources throughout the care continuum 

What they’re saying: “Northside Hospital has demonstrated excellent and superior survival outcomes through the bone marrow transplant program over the last 15 years for blood cancer patients,” said Dr. Melhem Solh, medical director of Northside’s Cellular Therapy Program. “The new Heme Malignancy Program builds on that success, providing top-tier care across all Northside Hospital Cancer Institute locations in Georgia.” 

“We aim to make the blood cancer journey individualized and patient-centered no matter where a patient is seen in the Northside system,” Dr. Solh added. 

Next steps: Physicians and patients interested in learning more about the Heme Malignancy Program can contact the blood cancer coordinator at [email protected]

Learn more about blood cancers and the new program at Northside. 

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Dr. Melhem M. Solh picture

Dr. Melhem M. Solh

Specialties: Hematology, Blood and Marrow Transplant

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Dr. Solh is board-certified in the subspecialties of medical oncology and hematology and is a Northside Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant and Leukemia and Immunotherapy Program physician. He is the medical director for the Cellular Therapy Program at Northside Hospital.

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