Hematopoietic (Stem) Cell Transplant Program

The Hematopoietic (Stem) Cell Transplant Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is one of the largest and most experienced pediatric stem cell transplant programs in the world. Our integrated pediatric hematology/oncology program through Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital provides — in one specialized program — all the services of both a leading cancer center and a pediatric hospital.

Pediatric hematopoietic cell transplant, sometimes called stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant, is used to treat many types of conditions affecting children and young adults. While traditionally used to treat cancers and blood disorders, hematopoietic cell transplants are increasingly being used to treat a growing range of conditions, including metabolic diseases, genetic immunodeficiencies and other disorders.

Meet Lucas.

Learn how Lucas confronted multiple medical challenges, including a stem cell transplant and a five-organ transplant, to become the boy he always wanted to be.

READ HIS STORY

Lucas, who underwent a stem cell transplant, in his mom

Our expertise in stem cell transplant

We perform more than 100 stem cell transplants each year for children and young adults with many types of cancer and other conditions. Our transplantation team includes some of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable pediatric stem cell transplant doctors and scientists, as well as nationally recognized pediatric specialists. 

Currently, we have 15 credentialed transplant specialists on staff — all Harvard Medical School faculty. Our physicians include past and present leaders from the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. Our transplant nurses, all of whom are certified pediatric oncology nurses with transplant-specific training, work collaboratively with physicians and other team members to coordinate and oversee each patient’s treatment plan. 

Why choose our Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Program?

The Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Center has performed nearly 1500 stem cell transplants — making us one of the largest and most experienced pediatric stem cell transplant centers in the world.

Superior outcomes

We regularly participate in national outcomes reporting and have played a major role in developing outcomes metrics and standards, as well as analyzing patient outcomes data. Capturing this data ensures we provide the highest standard of care. View our volumes and outcomes.

State-of-the-art facility

Our state-of-the-art stem cell transplant facility is designed specifically for children and young adults undergoing hematopoietic cell transplant — minimizing their exposure to harmful toxins and germs without preventing their freedom to leave their room or interact with family and friends.

A collaborative approach

Our Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Program works closely with clinicians and caregivers from multiple specialties at Boston Children’s including Pulmonology, Radiology, Infectious Disease, Metabolism, Nephrology, Pathology, Radiation Oncology, Cardiology, Surgery and the Intensive Care Unit.

In addition, we collaborate with several national research groups, including the Children’s Oncology Group, Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network and the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, to develop innovative clinical trials and expand transplantation for new conditions. We have an active stem cell research program that includes scientists who partner with our clinical care team to improve outcomes for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Promising research

Our Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Research Program includes many stem cell transplant clinical trials. These studies are pushing promising techniques and therapies forward. You child may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial as part of treatment. Your care team will discuss your child’s treatment plan at length with you, including any clinical trial options available.

Specially-trained donor search coordinator

When your child is undergoing an unrelated donor transplant, our pediatric-specific donor search coordinator will help your physician identify the best possible donor. Once a suitable donor has been found, the donor search coordinator will work with your care team, the donor registry and donor center to schedule the stem cell harvest. Our donor services program has a National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) accreditation to coordinate donor searches for patients.

Stem cell transplant accreditations

For more than a decade we have been accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. In addition, our Center fully accredited by the National Marrow Donor Program; we are a charter member of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network of the National Institutes of Health; and a member of both the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B.

Dedicated Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility

A GMP facility adheres to specific manufacturing processes and practices established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our partner, Dana-Farber is home to the Connell and O'Reilly Families Cell Manipulation Core Facility — New England's only Class 10,000 GMP cell therapy facility and academic medical center.

Quality initiatives for stem cell transplantation

Dana-Farber has a Department of Cellular Therapy Quality Assurance that is devoted to overseeing quality improvement, quality assurance, and quality control issues involving stem cells and all other cellular products used for patients.