Blood & Marrow Transplant (BMT)

Blood and marrow transplantation are medical procedures used to treat diseases once thought incurable. Since its first successful use in 1968, blood and marrow transplantation has been used to treat patients diagnosed with leukemia, aplastic anemia, lymphomas multiple myeloma, immune deficiency disorders and some solid tumors. The primary purpose of blood and marrow transplant is to allow patients to receive very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy in the course of their treatment.

Blood-forming stem cells are found in bone marrow, the soft sponge-like material found inside of bones, and in the bloodstream.  These immature blood-forming cells are called hematopoietic and they are the basis for building white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets in the body.

In peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, stem cells are removed from the bloodstream during process called apheresis or leukapheresis.  The blood then goes through a machine which removes the stem cells, the remaining blood is returned to the patient and the collected stem cells are stored for future use.  The stem cells are administered to the patient after he or she has been treated with high-dose anticancer drugs and/or radiation. This facilitates production of blood cells.

In a bone marrow transplant, the patient's diseased bone marrow is destroyed and healthy marrow is infused into the patient's bloodstream. In a successful transplant, the new bone marrow migrates to the cavities of the large bones and begins producing normal blood cells.

If bone marrow from a donor is used for a BMT, the transplant is called an allogeneic BMT. In an allogeneic BMT, the new bone marrow infused into the patient must match the genetic makeup of the patient's own marrow as perfectly as possible. Special blood tests are conducted to determine whether the donor's bone marrow matches the patient's bone marrow.

In some cases, patients may qualify for an autologous BMT, whereby the patient donates their own bone marrow. An autologous BMT is possible if the disease afflicting the bone marrow is in remission or if the condition being treated does not involve the bone marrow. With autologous BMT, the bone marrow is extracted from the patient prior to transplant and may be purged in order to remove any remaining malignant cells.

Clinical Trials

As a Texas Oncology patient, you may have the opportunity to receive newly-developed treatments or experimental drugs through participation in research studies and clinical trials. These programs are designed to evaluate new cancer prevention and treatment options, as part of a deliberate and comprehensive research process that often takes years. They test the safety and effectiveness of new or modified treatments in cancer patients using new drugs, unique approaches to surgery and radiation therapy, and various combinations of treatments. Participation in these trials is dependent on numerous factors relating to your health and the trials currently being offered.

Texas Oncology BMT Cancer Treatment Centers:

Texas Oncology-Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center Blood & Marrow Program

Since its beginning in 1983, the BMT program at Sammons has performed more than 3,500 transplants ranking it among the largest transplant programs in the country. The program has significant expertise in autologous, allogeneic-related, and allogeneic-unrelated donor transplantation. In 1998, the BMT Program became one of the first centers in the United States to receive initial accreditation by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (F.A.C.T.). The program has continued to maintain its accreditation placing it among an elite group of BMT centers nationwide. Patients receive complete BMT services, including pre-transplant evaluation and treatment, outpatient care, long-term follow-up care, education, support groups, housing coordination, and financial services.

Texas Oncology-Medical City Dallas Blood & Marrow Program

The BMT program at Texas Oncology-Medical City Dallas was established in 1994.  The program provides transplant options for adult patients with a variety of blood diseases. The program provides autologous, allogeneic-related, allogeneic-unrelated as well as cord blood transplants for both adult and pediatric patients. The program is accredited as a combined program for both adult and pediatric patients by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (F.A.C.T.) and American Association of Blood Banks (A.A.B.B.).  The program is designated by the National Marrow Donor Program as a transplant center and collection site.

Locations and Specialists

Pediatric BMT Program at Texas Oncology-Medical City Dallas

Some children diagnosed with leukemia or other types of cancer and blood disorders may benefit from stem cell therapy.  The Stem Cell Transplantation and Research (S.T.A.R.) program at Medical City Children’s Hospital is a shining example of the latest in oncological care.  As a leader in stem cell transplant research, we have significant experience performing pediatric stem cell transplants including autologous (stem cells from self) and allogeneic (stem cells from donor) along with transplants utilizing cells from umbilical cord blood.  Our stem cell program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (F.A.C.T.) in pediatric and adult stem cell transplants.  In addition, our collections and transplantation programs are accredited by the National Marrow Donor Program (N.M.D.P.).

We go to extra lengths to help our patients who have lowered immune systems.  Our state-of-the-art stem cell facilities include a 13-bed inpatient unit with continuous cardiac monitoring and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to prevent airborne infections, as well as a Tarn-Pure™ water purifying system to prevent legionella infections.  For extra safety, we use a monitored positive airflow pressure system to push bacteria and other microorganisms out and keep clean air in.