The Duke Blood Cancer Center has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the American Initiative in Mast Cell Diseases Network. This designation acknowledges the center’s expertise in caring for people with systemic mastocytosis and related mast cell disorders. It also recognizes the clinic’s ongoing research to find effective treatments for systemic mastocytosis and other mast cell diseases.
A Team of Specialists Essential for Quality Care
The Duke Blood Cancer Center is one of a handful of centers in the Southeast with the experience and capability to treat mast cell diseases. These disorders occur when mast cells -- a type of immune cell -- either grow and accumulate in multiple organs or release excessive amounts of proteins called mast cell mediators, leading to a range of symptoms. Lindsay Rein, MD, a hematologic oncologist at Duke Health, is part of a multidisciplinary team that cares for people with mast cell diseases including systemic mastocytosis.
Mast cell disorders can put some people at increased risk of anaphylaxis, a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Others experience skin rashes, nausea, bone pain, and other problems. Symptoms depend on the type of mast cell disease, the severity of the disease, and where mast cells accumulate in the body, explained Dr. Rein. Having experts in multiple specialties -- including hematology, allergy and immunology, dermatology, and oncology -- is essential for helping people manage these symptoms, treating their disease, and improving their quality of life.
Clinical Trials Provide Access to New Mast Cell Disease Therapies
In addition to patient care, Dr. Rein and her colleagues are actively involved in research on new treatments for systemic mastocytosis and other mast cell diseases. This means that patients at the Duke Blood Cancer Center may be eligible to participate in clinical trials, which provide access to new therapies and new ways to treat mast cell diseases before they are FDA-approved.
Comprehensive Care at Mast Cell Diseases Center of Excellence
While there is currently no cure for systemic mastocytosis and related mast cell disorders, receiving comprehensive care at a Mast Cell Diseases Center of Excellence can help people with these conditions live a full and fulfilling life. The Duke Blood Cancer Center also cares for people with a range of blood cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and other myeloproliferative neoplasms.