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Histiocytic Disorders Program

The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore is one of only three centers in the country to evaluate and manage large numbers of patients with rare histiocytic disorders, a group of diseases that occur when the body produces too many white blood cells called histiocytes that can cause organ damage and tumor formation. These disorders include Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), Rosai-Dorfman Disease (RDD), Erdheim-Chester Disease (EDC), Juvenile Xanthogranulomatous Disease (JXD), Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and Histiocytic Sarcomas. 

The Histiocytic Disorders Program brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts, including oncologists, dermatologists, neurosurgeons and general surgeons skilled in treating children with these disorders. Physicians with the program work closely with specialists at our Bone Marrow Transplant Program to co-manage patients who would benefit from bone marrow transplantation. They also work with specialists who treat the disorders in adult patients.

In addition, experts with the program conduct research in histiocytosis, including developing new drugs to treat patients with these conditions. Ongoing clinical trials include a bone marrow transplantation protocol that is specific to patients with histiocytic disorders, and a study of an experimental medication that inhibits the BRAF gene for patients with histiocytic disorders who do not respond to chemotherapy. BRAF is involved in directing cell growth; it has been shown to be altered in some human cancers. For more information, contact Elias Zambidis, MD, PhD, at

To make an appointment with Dr. Zambidis, call 443-287-2949.

Read more about histiocytic disorders.


Johns Hopkins Children's Center

Pediatric Oncology facilities are located in the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.