Leukemia Care

RUSH offers personalized, hands-on care for leukemia that centers around what you need — from the most advanced treatments to supportive care.

RUSH offers personalized, hands-on care for leukemia that centers around what you need — from the most advanced treatments to supportive care.

Leukemia is a type of cancer that causes bone marrow to make abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal cells eventually crowd out normal blood cells in the bone marrow and lymphatic system.

Types of Leukemia

There are different types of leukemia, including:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common type in adults
  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a type of AML
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)

Leukemia Symptoms

During the early stages of leukemia, you may have very mild symptoms that may not require treatment right away. In the advanced stage, leukemia symptoms can include the following:

  • Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Frequent fever or infections
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible so you can be evaluated.

The RUSH Approach to Leukemia Care

Over the past few years, the number of treatments for leukemia has continued to increase — offering you more effective options with less intense side effects.

Our expert team of leukemia specialists is at the leading edge of these therapies, and we treat a high volume of patients. This level of expertise helps us determine the best treatment plan for you, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Observation, with regular testing to monitor your condition
  • Chemotherapy, using drugs that damage or kill abnormal B lymphocytes
  • Targeted therapy, using monoclonal antibodies to target specific markers on leukemia cells
  • Surgery to remove your spleen, if it is enlarged
  • Follow-up care to monitor your condition
  • Stem cell or bone marrow transplantation, which may be an option if your leukemia is not responding to other treatments

Leukemia Providers at RUSH

RUSH has leukemia providers in Chicago, Oak Park, Lisle and Aurora/Fox Valley.

Meet our leukemia providers
stethoscope Meet our leukemia providers

Inpatient Leukemia Treatment at RUSH

Typically, you will receive your leukemia treatment as an inpatient in the hospital. We understand the personal challenges of an inpatient treatment plan. During your treatment, we'll address not only your physical needs, but also the emotional stress and anxiety that come with intensive inpatient care.

We also know how important it is to start treatment quickly when you have leukemia, so we can get you in to see a leukemia specialist within 24 hours of your call. And when you’re ready, we will work closely with you and your loved ones to make your transition from inpatient to outpatient care as smooth as possible.

RUSH Excellence in Leukemia Care

  • Nationally ranked experts: RUSH University Medical Center is ranked among the best in the nation for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Our cancer specialists welcome your questions and will work with you every step of the way.
  • Care right when you need it: We know how important it is to start treatment quickly when you have leukemia. You can see a leukemia specialist at RUSH within 24 hours of your call. We also work closely with our emergency department and referring physicians outside of RUSH to ensure that patients who need to transfer leukemia care to RUSH are seen as quickly as possible.
  • A team focused on you: You may receive care through The Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Leukemia Clinic at RUSH University Medical Center. In this clinic, your care team — which may include hematologists, bone marrow transplant physicians, radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists and advanced practice providers — brings their collective expertise together to develop an individualized treatment plan for you.
  • Molecular profiling for leukemia: Our team also performs molecular profiling — which analyzes your unique genetic makeup — on all newly diagnosed patients. This helps your care team make personalized treatment recommendations and decisions that will be most effective for you.
  • Outstanding stem cell transplant outcomes: You may need a stem cell transplant as part of your leukemia treatment. The bone marrow and stem cell transplant program at RUSH has excellent outcomes, with a 100% survival rate for the first 180 days after transplant. The program is also accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy — the highest level of accreditation that recognizes RUSH’s compliance with quality standards for cell collection, laboratory processing and transplantation.
  • Access to clinical trials: RUSH cancer specialists are known for pioneering research and offer access to clinical trials that are looking at novel approaches for treating leukemia.
  • Supportive oncology care: You will also have access to supportive oncology services, which offer integrative therapies to complement traditional leukemia treatments. The program offers mental health counseling, nutritional counseling, acupuncture and massage. The team can also connect you to other resources, such as financial counseling and transportation assistance, to help you and your family through the physical, social and emotional challenges of leukemia treatment. Waterford Place at RUSH Copley Medical Center also offers free supportive services to anyone who is diagnosed with cancer.
  • Follow-up care and infusion centers close to you: While you'll receive inpatient treatment and stem cell transplants at RUSH University Medical Center, you can get your infusion treatments and follow-up appointments at locations across the Chicago region.
  • Smooth transition from inpatient to outpatient: We have a dedicated nurse coordinator who will help coordinate your follow-up appointments and guide you through your outpatient care.

Clinical Trials

Researchers at Rush are investigating new blood disorders and hematologic cancer treatments.

See open clinical trials
See open clinical trials

Cancer Rehabilitation

Rush works with ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation to provide you with the care and tools you need to address pain, fatigue and decreased activity levels during and after leukemia treatment.

Learn more
Learn more
Melissa Larson, MD

Leukemia can be a long process, but we are with our patients every step of the way. We are committed to providing personalized care and good communication with our patients. Our team is happy to take the time to talk to them and explain everything they need to know.

Melissa Larson, MD, Hematologist

Leukemia Care Locations

Select a location to see options


Oncology doctors with  a patient

RUSH MD Anderson Cancer Center

1520 W Harrison St
Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building
Chicago, IL 60607

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Mon – Fri: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
Make an Appointment View Location

Aurora/Fox Valley

Rush Copley Cancer Care Center

RUSH MD Anderson Cancer Center at Copley

2000 Ogden Ave
Aurora, IL 60504

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Infusion Hours:

Mon – Fri: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed

Physician Office Hours:

Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
Make an Appointment View Location


RUSH Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy - Lisle

430 Warrenville Rd
Suite 200
Lisle, IL 60532

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Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
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Oak Park

RUSH MD Anderson Cancer Center at Oak Park

610 S Maple Ave
Rush Medical Office Building - Suites 5400, 2100
Oak Park, IL 60304

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Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
Make an Appointment View Location

Built for you.

The new Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building is a destination for state-of-the-art outpatient care in cancer, neurosciences, digestive diseases and more. Read stories that highlight what RUSH means to its patients, providers, employees and community — and illustrate how the Rubschlager Building is supporting RUSH in providing excellent patient care, in 2023 and beyond.

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