Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation
The bone marrow and stem cell transplant program at the Siteman Cancer Center is one of the largest in the world, completing about 400 transplants each year – and more than 5,000 since 1982. The program has performed unrelated donor transplants since 1992.
Our physicians use the latest clinical techniques and resources to collect stem cells or peripheral blood for allogeneic transplants, in which transplanted cells come from siblings and unrelated donors. By manipulating stem cell grafts, they also are working to reduce tumor contamination and bolster immunity. Whenever it is appropriate, they recommend that patients participate in clinical trials, research studies that test whether new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer are safe and effective.
At any given time, Siteman offers more than 40 therapeutic clinical trials for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and related disorders, including studies that incorporate transplant. Our large patient population allows us to offer single-institution studies and provides us with access to a wide range of tissue samples for future study.
In recent years, Siteman physicians have conducted clinical studies that led to the approval of the drug plerixafor to mobilize, or harvest, stem cells for transplant in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. They participated in studies that showed decitabine and high-dose lenalidomide were effective treatments for elderly patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). And they were the first to use a novel suicide gene for gene therapy to control graft-versus-host disease, a serious complication of transplantation.
Dedicated facilities include a 26-bed unit for patients undergoing transplant, which offers eight ICU beds and special HEPA filtration systems to reduce the risk of infection and a second unit for transplant patients and those with blood-related cancers, currently licensed for 38 beds.
Our program has long been an active member of the National Marrow Donor Program, International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, North American Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network and Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Transplant Consortium.