Carolinas HealthCare System

Levine Cancer Institute to Expand Its Hematology-Oncology Program

Edward Copelan, MD, FACP

Edward Copelan, MD, FACP
Chairman of the Department
of Hematologic Oncology
and Blood Disorders

Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute is expanding its hematology-oncology program, in an effort to give patients with aggressive types of blood cancer increased access to comprehensive treatment options.

The expansion includes a new hematologic malignancies unit that will open in January 2014. It will be the first of its kind, designed to treat adult blood and marrow transplant patients in the greater Charlotte region.

The unit will include:

  • Protected environment for transplant and other hematologic malignancy patients
  • 16 specialized beds
  • Apheresis unit for the collection of donor cells for patients
  • Cell processing lab

The program’s expansion will also support the development of new research at the Institute. By the end of 2013, physicians are slated to enroll patients in at least four new clinical trials.

Belinda Avalos, MD

Belinda Avalos, MD
Vice Chair of the Department
of Hematologic Oncology
and Blood Disorders

“The expansion and enhancement of our hematology-oncology program exemplifies how Levine Cancer Institute is constantly evolving and adapting to meet the growing needs of patients, so that they have access to the best care possible,” said Edward Copelan, MD, FACP, chairman of the department of hematologic oncology and blood disorders. “Our team of newly recruited outstanding blood cancer experts will work together to provide state-of-the-art care for patients closer to home, while also making significant strides in clinical research.”

Dr. Copelan, who was recruited from Cleveland Clinic in 2012, is overseeing the development of the program. He and Belinda Avalos, MD, vice chair of the department of hematologic oncology and blood disorders, recently had a large international study accepted by Blood, a leading hematology-oncology medical journal, which demonstrates the efficacy of a radiation-free treatment option for patients with acute myeloid leukemia undergoing transplantation. Under Dr. Copelan’s leadership, the Institute’s Leukemia, Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma Program is managed by newly recruited and nationally renowned physicians:

  • Saad Usmani, MD, FACP, is director of the plasma cell disorders program and director of clinical research in hematologic malignancies. Dr. Usmani was recruited to the Institute from the University of Arkansas.
  • Jonathan Gerber, MD, is director of the leukemia program and was recruited from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Michael Grunwald, MD, recently joined the hematologic malignancies and blood disorders faculty and was recruited from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Omotayo Fasan, MD, is director of apheresis and was recruited from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.