Center for Early Detection and Interception of Blood Cancers

Center for Prevention of Progression Appointments


Centers for Early Detection and Interception


The Center for Early Detection and Interception of Blood Cancers is part of Dana-Farber’s Centers for Early Detection and Interception, a new multidisciplinary clinical and research program for individuals who are at increased risk of developing cancer.

Talk with one of our experts to evaluate if the Centers for Early Detection and Interception is the right next step for you or your patient's care.

The Center for Early Detection and Interception of Blood Cancers, formerly the Center for Prevention of Progression, is the first-of-its-kind clinic for individuals who are at high risk for developing blood cancers due to precursor conditions.

Our goal is to increase early detection of blood cancers and their precursor conditions, and improve treatment options for patients with precursor conditions. 

What Are Precursor Conditions?

Most blood cancers are preceded by precursor conditions — early phases of diseases that may develop into cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. These conditions are sometimes found through routine blood tests, but often remain undiagnosed.

Precursor conditions of blood cancers include:

Myeloid Precursors

  • Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP)
  • Clonal cytopenia of undetermined significance (CCUS)

Plasma Cell Precursors

  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
  • Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM)
  • Immunoglobulin M monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (IgM MGUS)
  • Smoldering Waldenström macroglobulinemia (SWM)

Lymphoid Precursors

  • Monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL)
  • Lymphoid clonal hematopoiesis (Lymphoid-CH)
  • Low-grade lymphomas such as marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and follicular lymphomas

At the Center for Early Detection and Interception of Blood Cancers, we evaluate individuals diagnosed with these conditions — or at high risk for disease development — and work with patients to manage their risk of disease progression. 

Irene Ghobrial, MD, Discusses Precursor Hematologic Conditions

Dr. Ghobrial explains precursor conditions for hematologic malignancies, and how the Center for Early Detection and Interception of Blood Cancers, formerly Center for Prevention of Progression, aims to help patients manage these conditions and prevent progression to blood cancers.

Understanding Your Risk

Certain individuals are at higher risk for these conditions and should consider screening and counseling at the Center. These include:

  • Individuals with unexplained blood count abnormalities
  • Individuals with a first-degree relative with multiple myeloma or B-cell malignancies are three times more likely to have a precursor blood condition
  • Individuals who previously received chemotherapy or radiation for other cancers

Our Services

Patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team that harnesses Dana-Farber's leadership and expertise in screening, risk assessment, and prevention and interception. This includes hematologist-oncologists who specialize in specific precursor conditions, as well as specialists in genetic risk and prevention, genetic counseling, social support, and more.

Condition-Specific Expertise

Patients meet with a hematologist-oncologist with an in-depth knowledge of their specific precursor condition. The hematologist-oncologist will perform an individualized assessment of the patient’s risk for developing a blood cancer and work with the patient to identify the best management option.

Advanced Diagnostics

Our Center offers advanced diagnostic and sequencing technology to diagnose and assess each patient's condition. When appropriate, patients will have blood and tissue sampling (e.g. bone marrow biopsies). Analysis of these samples help our precursor specialists provide patients with individualized assessments of their risk of progression to blood cancers, discuss therapies and lifestyle changes that impact blood cancer risk, and match interested patients with appropriate therapeutic clinical trials.

Clinical Trial Opportunities

Patients may be offered the chance to participate in clinical research. This may include tissue banking studies such as PCROWD, screening studies such as PROMISE, as well as trials evaluating the effectiveness of novel therapies and lifestyle modifications on preventing progression to blood cancer.

Find Current Clinical Trials

Referral to Specialists

Patients may be referred to other specialists as needed. Examples include:

Patients with CHIP and CCUS are at an increased risk of developing heart disease such as heart attack or stroke. These patients are referred to a cardiologist who specializes in the care of precursor patients for an intensive preventative cardiology evaluation to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

Patients with MGUS may be referred to a nephrologist to evaluate symptoms related to kidney function or to a neurologist if they experience peripheral neuropathy.

Genetic Counseling
Patients may be evaluated by an experienced genetic counselor to discuss their personal and family health history, cancer risk, additional cancer screening recommendations, and potential strategies to lower the risk of progression.  

Additionally, patients being actively followed in the Genetics and Prevention Clinic have access to our providers in the Center for Early Detection and Interception of Blood Cancers if they develop a precursor condition.

Social Support
Psychologists and social workers are available by referral to offer patients resources and support.