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One of the Largest Bone Marrow Transplant Programs in the World

When you come to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for a bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant, you are cared for by one of the 10 largest bone marrow and stem cell transplant programs in the world. Washington University physicians offer stem cell and bone marrow transplant procedures to treat a number of life-threatening conditions with survival rates among the highest anywhere.

Begun in 1975, the hospital's stem cell and bone marrow transplant program:

  • Ranks among the top five centers in the country in volume, averaging between 250-300 transplants per year
  • Has performed unrelated donor transplants since 1991
  • Performs among the highest number of unrelated donor transplants in the world – more than 50 per year
  • Has performed outpatient autologous (self-donated) stem cell transplant procedures since 1994
  • Is one of two centers in the world developing a therapy for a rare form of leukemia called acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • Is affiliated with the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, a nationally recognized national Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the largest cancer program in the Midwest

Excellence in Bone Marrow Transplant Procedures
Despite taking on some of the most challenging cases – patients who may have been turned down at other centers – our bone marrow and stem cell transplant program has achieved very good survival rates.

Excellent outcomes achieved by our bone marrow transplant team are a result of:

  • World-renowned transplant specialists
  • Expertise in caring for patients before and after bone marrow transplant
  • Tailored medical therapy and novel approaches, such as the use of immunotherapy for transplants
  • Aggressive pursuit of leading-edge therapies and promising new drugs
  • Availability of advanced expertise in nearly every specialty

Team Approach to Bone Marrow Transplant Care
A bone marrow transplantation is an intensive therapy that is physically stressful and potentially life threatening. To ensure the most favorable outcome possible for patients, Barnes-Jewish Hospital has assembled a team dedicated specifically to the delivery of bone marrow and stem cell transplant procedures. Experienced Washington University physicians affiliated with the Siteman Cancer Center work with nurses who also have special training and experience in bone marrow and stem cell transplant, critical care and hematology/oncology. Other team members are social workers, transplant coordinators, transplant nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, and physical therapists for a total of 90 full-time employees.

Innovative care
Based on expertise in medicine, research and support services, the bone marrow transplant and stem cell transplant team has developed a new way to get patients ready for transplant called conditioning therapy. The national and international medical community now recognizes this approach as a very important way of preparing patients for bone marrow and stem cell transplant.

"Cutting-edge research, therapies and technology independently don't save lives. But when an institution can bring all these things together, with the brightest minds and most compassionate hearts, miracles can happen," says Ravi Viji, MD, Washington University medical oncologist and bone marrow transplant specialist.

Providing an Optimal Environment
The bone marrow transplant and stem cell transplant unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital has been expanded and redesigned to better accommodate patient care and make every stay as comfortable as possible for patients and families. Each of the 26 private rooms is equipped with a HEPA filtration system and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. New structures are in place to ensure that the transplant unit reduces the risk of infections, a major complication for patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

Internationally Recognized Research
Patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital benefit from active basic and clinical research at Washington University that is recognized around the globe for improving bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants. The program receives a large amount of research funding each year from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Food and Drug Administration, Leukemia Society of America, American Society of Hematology and others.

Washington University researchers are working to reduce complications and expand the use of alternative donors so transplants can be available for patients with a broader range of diseases. At the same time, our physicians also are developing alternative approaches to treating certain types of leukemia that may actually eliminate the need for transplant.

Our program has been an active member of the National Marrow Donor Program, the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, the North American Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, the BMT Clinical Trials Network and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B Transplant Consortium.

For a referral to a Washington University Transplant Specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital call 888.994.9564.