Hematology/Oncology at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and
The Northern California Comprehensive Thalassemia Center
Ash Lal, MD The Northern California Comprehensive Thalassemia Center at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, together with seven satellite centers at other children’s hospitals in California, is one of the largest programs in the country. The center provides specialist referral service to an increasing number of patients with thalassemia from within and outside California.
The clinical program is directed by Ashutosh Lal, MD, and provides comprehensive clinical care for more than 150 children and adults with various forms of thalassemia. To address the complex nature of thalassemia, a multidisciplinary team provides screening, diagnosis, education and treatment of thalassemia and its complications. Complete genotyping by DNA analysis is available through our Hemoglobinopathy Laboratory Diagnostics Center. Our Day Hospital is a convenient setting for thalassemia major patients to schedule regular transfusions. We provide non-invasive measurement of liver iron by the SQUID ferritometer, one of four such facilities in the world. We use MRI to evaluate cardiac function and iron content. Various chelation regimens, whether oral or by infusion, are available to our patients depending upon their clinical needs and individual preference. A team of specialists organizes comprehensive care clinics for our patients to periodically evaluate progress and set treatment goals. We work closely with the Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program to identify patients who have suitable donors, and provide long-term care after transplantation. Our Outreach Program gives patients outside the Bay Area access to comprehensive evaluation at Children’s Hospital. Thalassemia Center events help build relationships with our patients, helping them adhere to complex treatments. Our acclaimed clinical research program gives our patients access to new advances in therapy.
Resources for Physicians:
- To refer a patient, you may call the thalassemia clinic at (510) 428-3347, or
- Download a referral form and fax it to the thalassemia clinic: FAX# (510) 450-5648
Staff Telephone Numbers:
- Anne Rishon, NP
- Elliott Vichinsky, MD - Center Director
- Ash Lal, MD - Clinical Program Director
- Meghan Foe - Thalassemia Outreach Coordinator
510-428-3885, ext. 2981