Hereditary Cancer Center

The Genetic Factors in Familial Hematologic Malignancies

Henry T. Lynch M.D. (Creighton University Medical Center);
Dennis Weisenberger M.D., (University of Nebraska Medical Center);
James Armitage M.D. (University of Nebraska Medical Center);
Julie Vose M.D. (University of Nebraska Medical Center);
Warren Sanger, M.D. (University of Nebraska Medical Center);
Patrice Watson, Ph.D. (Creighton University Medical Center)

Contact Information:


Creighton University Medical Center
Department of Preventive Medicine
Hixson-Lied Science Building, Suite 202
Phone:   402.280.2942  402.280.2942  
Toll free:1.800.648.8133 , extension 2942

Fax: 402.280.1734



To identify syndromes linked to hematologic malignancies (acute and chronic leukemia, myelodysplasia, myeloproliferative disorders, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, and related disorders.


Anyone with two or more blood relatives affected with a hematologic malignancy.

Exclusion Criteria:

There are no restrictions to participation in the study based on gender, race, or ethnic origin.

Procedure overview:

Phase I:

Identify families with multiple hematologic malignancies through physician and/or self referral.

Creighton University Medical Center will then carry out family studies including:

  1. detailed questionnaires on family demographics and cancer histories when signed informed consents from all participating family members are provided.
  2. medical and pathology records for formal documentation of cancer and, if possible, retrieval of diagnostic slides and tissue blocks for review and analysis are essential to our studies.

All of the above information is then reviewed by a team of professionals with expertise in hereditary cancer. Any pattern in the findings that appears to be unique will help us decide if a family has an increased risk of cancer due to genetic factors. Those identified families will then have an opportunity to participate in Phase II of the research program.

Phase II:

Identify genes associated with familial clustering and susceptibility to those hematologic malignancies.

Study the interaction of genetics and environmental exposures in the development of these cancers.

The second part of our research is also completely voluntary. Blood and/or tissue samples will be collected for molecular genetic testing. If an abnormality or mutation is found, the information will be offered to you and possibly other members of your family.

The benefits of this research may include:

  1. Learning more about what causes these cancers
  2. Learning how to prevent these cancers whenever possible
  3. Learning how to treat these cancers
  4. Learning how to cure these cancers if possible

These studies will help us decide if a family has an increased risk of cancer due to genetic factors and may even help us identify individuals who have a high genetic risk of cancer. If hereditary factors are identified, specific surveillance may be recommended for these individuals, including regular check ups, screening, and diagnostic tests that may lead to early diagnosis and improved cancer management.

The information you are asked to provide in all your contacts with the Department of Preventive Medicine at Creighton University Medical Center Hereditary Cancer Institute (CUMC-HCI) is personal and confidential. We will add this information to our computerized data files on the history of cancer in families, and use it in our studies of hereditary cancer. computers holding family data are not connected to outside comptuers on cabled or dial in networks.

All these studies are performed in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center Hematologic Malignancy Center.