Stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant)
When we say 'stem cell transplant,' we mean the conditioning chemotherapy followed by the infusion of the stem cells. Ironically, the infusion of stem cells is sometimes the least important part. When we're talking about transplant, we're talking about that package.
Leslie Lehmann, MD, Director, Boston Children's Hospital Stem Cell Transplantation Program
Bone marrow is a specialized tissue inside the bones that produces all of the body’s blood cells. Stem cell transplantation (also called a bone marrow transplant) is a therapy for children with cancer or other diseases that affect their bone marrow. The goal of a stem cell transplant is to transfuse healthy bone marrow cells into your child after unhealthy bone marrow has been destroyed.
- Stem cell transplant is the treatment of choice for a large number of diseases of the immune and blood forming systems, including acute and chronic leukemia, lymphomas; immunologic and hematologic disorders, like severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome; and bone marrow failure syndromes, such as severe aplastic anemia.
- It has also been used to successfully treat a variety of childhood solid tumors, including neuroblastoma, Wilm's tumors, and certain testicular and ovarian malignancies.
- Following a successful transplant, your child will require specialized care and precautions as her immune system recovers.
How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches stem cell transplants
Children’s patients needing a stem cell transplant are treated through the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center (DF/CHCC) Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Program. Established in the 1970s, our program is one of the most experienced and largest pediatric transplant centers in the nation.
Our multidisciplinary pediatric stem cell transplant team integrates the expertise of:
pediatric specialists from all medical areas, such as hematology, gastroenterology, cardiology, nutrition, endocrinology and infectious disease
senior attending physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, registered nurses and pediatric hematology-oncology fellows with expertise in stem cell transplant
physicians specializing in nutrition and pain management, who see your child daily
- Child Life specialists, psychologists, social workers and resource specialists who provide your child with supportive care before, during and after the transplant
What we offer
Personalized, patient- and family-centered care is a hallmark of our practice. Our comprehensive services include:
evaluation and pre-transplant care of your child by a senior transplant attending
donor identification, including family HLA typing (checking a collection of genes) and, if necessary, the coordination of unrelated donor services with our on-site National Marrow Donor Program office
round-the-clock access to a member of our transplant team
weekly patient satisfaction rounds with nursing and physician leadership
Bone Marrow Transplantation
Reviewed by Leslie Lehmann, MD,
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2010