Hairy cell leukemia is extremely rare, but upstate New York is fortunate to have one of only 23 institutions in the world with a Hairy Cell Leukemia Center of Excellence. And it’s located right here at the Wilmot Cancer Institute.
Clive Zent, M.D., established the center at Wilmot, bringing a wealth of knowledge and the latest toolkit for this type of blood cancer, which results from the production of too many white blood cells that transform into cancer cells and look “hairy” under a microscope.
Zent works closely with Richard Burack, M.D., Ph.D., a Wilmot pathologist, to develop precision tests to confirm specific gene mutations that are often present in hairy cell leukemia. The gene analysis allows them to prescribe targeted therapies matched to each patient’s genetic profile.
“Precision medicine and targeted therapy have become very routine for us,” Zent says. “It’s what we do every day.”