What is hematological oncology?

Hematology-oncology combines two fields of medicine: hematology, the study of blood, and oncology, the study of cancer.

Blood oncologists are trained in diagnosing, treating, and preventing blood cancers and blood-related disorders. Hemato-oncologists offer sophisticated medical treatments to patients with hematological cancer diseases, including



Multiple myeloma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

A hematologic malignancy develops in the blood cells of the body and may not form tumors.

While some hemato-oncologists specialize in treating solid tumors, most do not treat operable cancers such as breast or lung cancer.

Stem cell transplantation, a therapeutic option for certain blood cancers, is performed by doctors specialized in hematology/oncology. Stem cell transplantation is also called hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation.


Why consult a hemato-oncologist?

You may be referred to a blood oncologist due to an abnormality in a blood test. Blood is made up of white blood cells that fight infections, red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the heart and other organs, platelets that clot the blood and prevent uncontrolled hemorrhages, and plasma that transports waste products to the kidneys and liver.

A blood test can show that one of these components is too abundant or not enough. The blood oncologist will look for signs of blood cancer or other blood disorders. For example, multiple myeloma can appear in bone marrow plasma, while Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma develop in lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells.


How do blood oncologists treat blood cancers?

Blood cancer treatment depends on many factors, such as the type of cancer you have, your age, how fast your cancer has progressed, and where it has spread.

Patients with blood cancer are treated by a multidisciplinary care team that strives to eliminate malignant blood diseases, reduce the risk of recurrence and offer supportive care to patients to keep them strong, reduce their side effects and preserve their quality of life.

In collaboration with the rest of the cancer care team, your blood oncologist will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that includes

Targeted therapy



Immunotherapy such as CAR T-cell therapy

Stem cell transplantation

To reduce or prevent the side effects of your treatment and speed up your recovery, your cancer care team can recommend supportive care services such as nutritional or naturopathic support, pain management, psychosocial counseling, and physical therapy.


What are the procedures for stem cell transplantation?

Advances in stem cell research have made it possible to reduce complications and strengthen patient benefits. Healthy stem cells are taken from the bone marrow, circulating (peripheral) blood, or umbilical cord blood. These hematopoietic stem cells are introduced intravenously into the body to replace the diseased or damaged bone marrow. The type of stem cell transplant depends on where the healthy stem cells are collected :

Autologous stem cell transplantation uses stem cells taken from the patient’s body.

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation uses stem cells taken from a compatible donor.

The goal of transplantation is to stimulate the growth of new bone marrow, suppress the disease, and reduce the risk of relapse.

Patients will be subjected to a conditioning regime before transplantation. This diet will kill as many cancer cells as possible, usually through high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

After the transplant, your doctors will continue to monitor your blood count for several months and may prescribe transfusions of red blood cells and platelets if necessary.