Stem Cell Transplantation: Treatment for Cancer and Blood Diseases
Stem cells, found in the bone marrow, are crucial to our health because they can develop into the three types of blood cells that the body needs:
- Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body
- White blood cells, which fight infection
- Platelets, which help the blood clot
A bone marrow or stem cell transplant is a procedure for patients whose bone marrow does not produce healthy stem cells. Certain diseases (and sometimes treatments for diseases) can damage a person’s stem cells. Transplantation, which replaces the damaged stem cells with healthy, functional stem cells, can be one of two types:
- Autologous, using your own cells
- Allogeneic, using a donor’s cells
Once considered an experimental treatment, it is now a standard of care for patients with certain types of cancer and blood disorders, including:
- Acute and chronic leukemias
- Aplastic anemia
- Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Primary amyloidosis
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Myeloproliferative disorders
- Sickle cell anemia
Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program is the only adult academic program of its kind in the Washington, D.C., area, giving patients access to life-saving treatment options not otherwise available in our region. Our specialists have extensive experience performing this complex procedure and work to provide a safe, effective, and comfortable procedure. We are also proud of our partnership with the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center and the physicians and scientists of Georgetown University School of Medicine. Together, we are able to deliver comprehensive, advanced care to our patients.
Features of our program include:
- Dedicated transplant specialists: Our physicians are full-time transplant specialists who have dedicated their entire careers to bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. We offer all of the treatment options available today and can confidently recommend the optimal techniques and procedures for you. Learn more about what to expect during bone marrow and stem cell transplantation.
- Experienced team: Our physicians have decades of experience performing transplantation procedures, making us one of the top transplantation teams in the region. We translate the latest research into results, leading to improved techniques and outcomes. We combine our experience with the expert team at MedStar Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the Washington, D.C., region. Expertise with high-risk patients: Patients who may have been turned away from other programs—either due to age, health or other reasons—often find hope and treatment at MedStar Georgetown. We are confident in our ability to guide high-risk patients safely through the treatment and recovery process.
- Holistic care: At MedStar Georgetown, we know a sickness affects more than just your physical health. Our robust team consists of many different health care professionals, who are here to care for your physical, emotional and social needs.
- World’s largest marrow harvesting site: MedStar Georgetown is home to the largest collection site for the National Marrow Donor program, a program started by the U.S. Department of Defense. This gives us an unmatched level of experience and expertise in cell collection. Learn more about bone marrow harvesting.
At MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, our bone marrow and stem cell transplantation team consists of highly specialized physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals, including
- Pre-transplant coordinators, who can help you manage appointments, paperwork and all of your pre-procedure needs
- Dedicated inpatient and outpatient nursing staff, with experience caring for transplant patients
- Insurance coordinator
- Social worker
Every member of our team is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to our patients. We have one of the few dedicated transplant programs in the region, giving our team a high level of expertise and experience. And, our care doesn’t begin or end with the procedure—we are with you from the moment you walk through our doors and continue to provide services throughout your treatment and follow-up care.