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

Newswise — SEATTLE – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) recently opened the Hematologic Malignancy Genetics Clinic, which provides personalized risk assessment and follow-up care for adult patients and family members who may be at increased risk for developing hematologic malignancies due to an underlying genetic cause. 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

Visit SCCA’s website to learn more, or call (855) 557-0555.


About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine – one extraordinary group whose sole purpose is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for our patients. Based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, SCCA has six clinical care sites, including a medical oncology clinic at Evergreen Health in Kirkland, Washington; medical and radiation oncology clinics at UW Medicine/Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, as well as Network affiliations with hospitals in five states. For more information about SCCA, visit

Karen Brandvick-Baker at or by calling (206) 606-7239.