Heather Leitch

Contact Information
440 – 1144 Burrard Street
Vancouver V6Z 2A5
Tel: 1-604-684-5794
Fax: 1-604-684-5705
Email: hleitch@providencehematology.com

Current Positions

  • Hematologist, St. Paul’s Hospital.
  • Clinical Professor, University of British Columbia.
  • Research Director, Providence Hematology/Oncology Research (SPH).

 Research Interests

  • Iron overload in acquired anemias.
  • Hematologic manifestations of HIV infection.

Selected Publications

  1. Leitch HA, Buckstein RM, Zhu N, Nevill TJ, Yee KWL, Leber B, Keating M-M, Sabloff M, St. Hilaire E, Kumar R, Delage R, Geddes M, Storring JM, Shamy A, Elemary M, and Wells RA.“Iron overload in Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Evidence Based Guidelines from the Canadian Consortium on MDS”. Leukemia Research, in press.
  2. Leitch HA, Parmar A, Wells RA, Chodirker L, Zhu N, Nevill TJ, Yee KWL, Leber B, Keating MM, Sabloff M, St Hilaire E, Kumar R, Delage R, Geddes M, Storring JM, Kew A, Shamy A, Elemary M, Lenis M, Mamedov A, Ivo J, Francis J, Zhang L, Buckstein R.“Overall survival in lower IPSS risk MDS by receipt of iron chelation therapy, adjusting for patient-related factors and measuring from time of first red blood cell transfusion dependence: an MDS-CAN analysis”. Br J Haematol. 2017 Oct;179(1):83-97. doi: 10.1111/bjh.14825. Epub 2017 Jul 5.
  3. Wong SA, Dalal BI, Leitch HA. “Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria Screening in Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome in Clinical Practice; Frequency and Indications”. Current Oncology, in press.
  4. Leitch HA. “Defining clinically relevant measures of iron overload around haemopoietic stem cell transplantation”.  Lancet Haematol. 2018 May;5(5):e184-e185. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(18)30033-4. Epub 2018 Apr 5. No abstract available. PMID: 29628398.
  5. Wong CAC, Wong SAY, Leitch HA. “Iron Overload in Lower International Prognostic Scoring System Risk Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome Receiving Red Blood Cell Transfusions: Relation to Infections and Possible Benefit of Iron Chelation Therapy”.  Leuk Res. 2018 Apr;67:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2018.02.005. Epub 2018 Feb 10. PMID: 29477023.
  6. Leitch HA, Fibach E, Rachmilewitz E. “Toxicity of iron overload and iron overload reduction in the setting of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic malignancies”. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2017 May;113:156-170. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2017.03.002. Epub 2017 Mar 14. Review.  PMID: 28427505.
  7. Buckstein R, Balleari E, Wells R, Santini V, Sanna A, Salvetti C, Crisà E, Allione B, Danise P, Finelli C, Clavio M, Poloni A, Salvi F, Cilloni D, Oliva EN, Musto P, Houston B, Zhu N, Geddes M, Leitch H, Leber B, Sabloff M, Nevill TJ, Yee KW, Storring JM, Francis J, Maurillo L, Latagliata R, Spiriti MAA, Andriani A, Piccioni AL, Fianchi L, Fenu S, Gumenyuk S, Buccisano F.ITACA: A new validated international erythropoietic stimulating agent-response score that further refines the predictive power of previous scoring systems. Am J Hematol. 2017 Oct;92(10):1037-1046. doi: 10.1002/ajh.24842. Epub 2017 Jul 29.
  8. England JT, Dalal B, Leitch HA. “Frequency of and Reasons for Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria Screening in Patients with Unexplained Anemia”.J Clin Pathol. 2017 Nov 14. pii: jclinpath-2017-204724. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2017-204724.
  9. Wong SA, Leitch HA. “Iron Chelation Therapy in Lower IPSS Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes; Which Subtypes Benefit?” Leuk Res. 2017 Nov 11;64:24-29. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2017.11.005.
  10. Alzahrani MF, Leitch HA. “Castleman Disease: Delineating the Spectrum”. Br J Haematol. 2017 Nov 16. doi: 10.1111/bjh.15016.
  11. Lee LJ, Toze CL, Huang SJT, Gillan TL, Connors JM, Sehn LH, Bruyere H, Leitch H, Ramadan KM, Gerrie AS. “Improved survival outcomes with the addition of rituximab to initial therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a comparative effectiveness analysis in the province of British Columbia, Canada”. Leuk Lymphoma. 2017 Oct 16:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10428194.2017.
  12. England JT, Leitch HA. “Chronic lymphocytic leukemia in a patient with well-controlled HIV infection: successful treatment with ibrutinib”. Leuk Lymphoma. 2017 Jul 21:1-3. doi: 10.1080/10428194.2017.1349904. PMID: 28728450.
  13. Houston BL, Jayakar J, Wells RA, Lenis M, Zhang L, Zhu N, Leitch HA, Nevill TJ, Yee KWL, Leber B, Sabloff M, St-Hilaire E, Kumar R, Geddes M, Shamy A, Storring JM, Keating MM, Elemary M, Delage R, Mamedov A, Buckstein R. “A predictive model of response to erythropoietin stimulating agents in myelodysplastic syndrome: from the Canadian MDS patient registry”. Ann Hematol. 2017 Oct 3. doi: 10.1007/s00277-017-3137-0.  PMID: 28975386.
  14. Leitch HA, Parmar A, Wells RA, Chodirker L, Zhu N, Nevill TJ, Yee KWL, Leber B, Keating M-M, Sabloff M, St. Hilaire E, Kumar R, Delage R, Geddes M, Storring JM, Kew A, Shamy A, Elemary M, Lenis M, Mamedov A, Ivo J, Francis J, Zhang L, Buckstein R. “Overall survival in lower IPSS risk MDS by receipt of iron chelation therapy, adjusting for patient-related factors and measuring from time of first red blood cell transfusion dependence: an MDS-CAN analysis”.Br J Haematol. 2017 Oct;179(1):83-97. doi: 10.1111/bjh. PMID: 28677895.
  15. Leitch HA, Fibach E, Rachmilewitz E. “Toxicity of Iron Overload and Iron Overload Reduction in the Setting of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Hematologic Malignancies”. Crit Rev Onc/Hematol 2017 May;113:156-170. doi: 10.1016.  PMID: 28427505.
  16. Williamson BT, Leitch HA. “Higher Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes in Patients with Well-Controlled HIV Infection: Clinical Features, Treatment, and Outcome”. Case Rep Hematol. 2016;2016:8502641. doi: 10.1155/2016/8502641. PMID: 26904323.
  17. Tsang E, Leitch HA. “Pre- and post-treatment serum ferritin levels in patients with higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes receiving Azacitidine”. Leuk Lymphoma. 2016 Nov;57(11):2709-11. doi: 10.3109/10428194.2016.1157878. No abstract available. PMID: 26980175.
  18. Buckstein R, Wells RA, Zhu N, Leitch HA, Nevill TJ, Yee KW, Leber B, Sabloff M, St Hilaire E, Kumar R, Geddes M, Shamy A, Storring J, Kew A, Elemary M, Levitt M, Lenis M, Mamedov A, Zhang L, Rockwood K, Alibhai SM. “Patient-related factors independently impact overall survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes: an MDS-CAN prospective study”. Br J Haematol. 2016 Jul;174(1):88-101. doi: 10.1111/bjh.14033. PMID: 26991631.
  19. Alzahrani MF, Radwi M, Leitch HA. “Practical Management of Castleman’s Disease”. Acta Haematol. 2016;136(1):16-22. doi: 10.1159/000444515. PMID: 27160307.
  20. Williamson BT, Foltz L, Leitch HA. “Autoimmune Syndromes Presenting as a Paraneoplastic Manifestation of Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Clinical Features, Course, Treatment and Outcome”.  Hematol Rep. 2016 May 10;8(2):6480. doi: 10.4081/hr.2016.6480. PMID: 27499837.
  21. Leitch HA. “Hematologic Improvement with Iron Chelation Therapy in Acquired Anemias”. Eur J Haematol 2016 Jun;96(6):551-2. doi: 10.1111/ejh.12703. No abstract available. PMID: 26572777.
  22. Tsang E, Leitch HA. “Can iron overload in patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes be reduced using erythropoiesis-stimulating agents?” Ann Hematol. 2015 Oct 10. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26453076.
  23. Kochhar H, Leger CS, Leitch HA. “Durable Red Blood Cell Transfusion Independence in a Patient with an MDS/MPN Overlap Syndrome Following Discontinuation of Iron Chelation Therapy”. Case Rep Hematol. 2015;2015:253294. doi: 10.1155/2015/253294. Epub 2015 Mar 30.  PMID: 25918650.
  24. Alzahrani M, Hull MC, Sherlock C, Griswold D, Leger CS, Leitch HA. “Human immunodeficiency virus-associated multicentric Castleman disease refractory to antiretroviral therapy: clinical features, treatment and outcome”. Leuk Lymphoma. 2015 May;56(5):1246-51. doi: 10.3109/10428194.2014.935368. Epub 2014 Aug 20. PMID: 25093377.
  25. Leitch HA. “How I Treat Iron Overload in MDS – and Why”. Canadian Perspectives in Clinical Hematology 2014 October;2(1):4-10.
  26. Alzahrani M, Hull MC, Sherlock C, Griswold D, Leger CS, Leitch HA. “Human immunodeficiency virus-associated multicentric Castleman disease refractory to antiretroviral therapy: clinical features, treatment and outcome”. Leuk Lymphoma. 2014 Aug 20:1-6. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25093377.
  27. Imran Ul-Haq M, Hamilton JL, Lai BF, Shenoi RA, Horte S, Constantinescu I, Leitch HA, Kizhakkedathu JN. Design of Long Circulating Nontoxic Dendritic Polymers for the Removal of Iron in Vivo. ACS Nano. 2013 Nov 25 [Epub ahead of print].
  28. Leitch HA, Buckstein R, Shamy A, Storring, JM. “The immunomodulatory agents lenalidomide and thalidomide for treatment of the myelodysplastic syndromes: A clinical practice guideline”. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology 2013;85(2):162-92.

Education

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, Seattle, Washington; Visiting Physician; Training in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.
  • BC Cancer Agency; Fellow, Lymphoma.
  • McGill University; Student, Epidemiology & Biostatistics.
  • McGill University; Resident, Hematology.
  • University of British Columbia; Resident, Internal Medicine.
  • University of British Columbia; MD.
  • University of British Columbia; PhD, Department of Microbiology, Immunology Laboratory, Leukemia Stem Cell Biology.
  • Queen’s University; BSc, Biology.