Leukemia is a blood cancer that affects white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection in the body. When a person develops leukemia, these white blood cells, which are in the bone marrow, grow abnormally and crowd out healthy cells, interfering with the blood cells' work.
Diagnosing leukemia in its earliest stages can improve a patient’s prognosis, so it is important to be tested as soon as possible if leukemia is suspected. In this age of precision medicine, advancements in molecular cytogenetics have enabled doctors to determine the best treatment for the patient. "We are now on the forefront of medicine, when some of these cytogenetic findings make patients eligible for clinical trials that Yale Medicine is offering,” says Yale Medicine pathologist Alexa Siddon, MD.