Our Approach to Your Care
Making the decision to undergo a blood or bone marrow transplant is not easy. The process can involve risk and requires commitment by you and your caregiver. Here at Moffitt Cancer Center, our knowledgeable team – from physicians, nurses and laboratory staff to transplant coordinators, dietitians and volunteers – is ready to provide you with the care, support and guidance necessary to take you successfully through each phase of the transplant process.
Before starting any type of treatment, you will first meet with one of our transplant physicians and other members of the team to determine if a transplant is right for you. Once this has been determined, the team will recommend the most beneficial treatment plan for you based on your individual care needs and medical history.
Diseases Treated with Stem Cell Transplant
The stem cell transplant process can be effective in the treatment of hereditary disorders of red blood cell production and the immune system, such as severe autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis. However, the most commonly treated diseases at Moffitt using blood or bone marrow transplantation include:
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
- Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
- Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML)
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Multiple Myeloma (MM)
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes
- Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
- Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
- Primary Amyloidosis
- Severe Aplastic Anemia (SAA)
- Testicular Cancer
- Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia
- Essential Thrombocytosis (ET)
- Ewing's Sarcoma
About Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation
Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation is often used by the team at Moffitt to treat a wide range of blood diseases and disorders. These include multiple myeloma, lymphomas, leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative disorders and aplastic anemia and other benign disorders. This treatment may also be used for treatment of solid tumors, such as with testicular cancer.
Determining which source of stem cells is best for treatment is dependent upon a patient’s age, medical condition, disease and the availability of a suitable donor. Autologous stem cells (or those taken from the patient’s circulating blood) are used most often in the treatment of lymphoma and myeloma.
With an allogeneic transplant, stem cells are taken from a donor and given to the patient, usually from the donor’s blood but can be obtained from the marrow, as well. With siblings, there is a 25% chance that there will be an HLA (human leukocyte antigen) match with tissue. When a family member is unavailable, stem cells also can be obtained through a volunteer donor registry, the National Marrow Donor Program, in which Moffitt participates as both a transplant center and donor collection facility. Currently, more than half of our allogeneic transplants come from an unrelated volunteer donor. An alternative source of allogeneic stem cells are from the umbilical cord. These frozen stem cells allow transplantation for recipients with limited adult donors. When an allogeneic transplant is recommended, only those people noted as “HLA-matched” will be considered as donors, whether related or not. To determine this match, patient and donor white blood cells are checked using specialized tests to assess DNA. Red blood cell types do not have to be the same for the donor and recipient nor do their genders need to match. Donors are screened for their ability to tolerate a stem cell harvest and any other potential problems that would impact their ability to donate, such as any active infections.
One of the rarest transplants, a syngeneic stem cell transplant, occurs when stem cells are obtained from the bone marrow or peripheral blood of an identical twin and given back to the patient.