About the Bone Marrow Transplant Program
Texas Children’s Cancer Center is a premier bone marrow and stem cell transplantation program. Our state-of-the-art, 15-bed inpatient transplant unit is among the largest of its kind in the Southwestern United States and focuses exclusively on transplantation. The Bone Marrow Transplant Program performs over 100 transplants per year.
Bone marrow transplantation as treatment
For some time, bone marrow transplantation has been the treatment of choice for relapsed leukemia patients. However, the role of bone marrow transplantation in the treatment of children with other forms of cancer, blood diseases, and genetic disorders of immunology and metabolism has increased dramatically in the last few years. The Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program is expanding the use of this technique for patients with solid tumors including neuroblastoma and brain tumors; a variety of high-risk hematologic diseases, such as thalassemia major and transfusion-dependent sickle cell disease; and other nonmalignant diseases.
In addition, the Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT) Program at Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine and Houston Methodist helps rapidly translate novel cell and gene therapy protocols from the laboratory to the clinic. In particular, Texas Children’s is able to make genetic and molecular diagnoses in conjunction with the CAGT Program, as well as administer cell-based therapies.
As patient comfort is a priority, we employ new approaches to care that provide patients with more mobility and access to activities during their stay. A specialized high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system allows patients to leave their rooms and participate in social functions on the unit.
High rate of donor matches
We are able to find a donor for most patients needing stem cell transplantation. If a perfect match is unavailable, we are able to perform cord blood transplants or use donors other than perfectly matched siblings, such as parents. Through this development, the Cancer Center can offer potentially curative bone marrow transplants to an increasing number of patients by using alternative bone marrow donors.
One of our main goals is to consistently expand our donor pool in order to provide patients the best possible transplantation options.
As one of the top programs for cell-based therapies, our research focuses on improving transplantation outcomes by reducing or avoiding infection or relapses. Another component of our research looks at viral-specific cells to see how we can ensure patients’ cells have short and long term immunity.