A blood and marrow transplant (BMT) is a procedure that replaces a person’s damaged stem cells with healthy ones. This procedure is vital for some patients because stem cells in bone marrow create:
- Red blood cells – to carry oxygen throughout the body
- White blood cells – to fight infections
- Platelets – to the blood clot
In some cases, very high doses of chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation, are used to destroy difficult cancers and blood disorders. But the treatment also kills healthy stem cells found in bone marrow. BMT is used to replace the cells that were destroyed. They are delivered into the body like a blood transfusion and eventually settle in the marrow, and begin growing and making healthy blood cells.
OHC doctors have performed more than 2000 of these transplants and they oversee the Blood Cancer Center (BCC) at The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health, the only FACT-accredited blood and marrow transplant center in the Tri-State. Among the best in the nation, the center is one of only two to earn this prestigious accreditation from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) for quality patient care and laboratory practices.
If you and your care team determine BMT is best for you, your OHC doctor will want to find a donor whose stem cells match yours. A close match can reduce the risk that your immune system will attack the donor cells. It also reduces the risk that cells from the donor’s marrow or blood will attack your body. Identical twins are the best donor match, followed by brothers, sisters and other family members. If no match is found among these family members, the search widens. Millions of volunteer donors are registered with the National Marrow Donor Program. People who provide their own stem cells for later use don’t need to go through this process.
For more information about blood and marrow transplant, call us toll free at 1-800-710-4674. If you are a new patient or would like a second opinion, we’d be happy to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. If you’re a current patient and would like more information, let your OHC doctor know you’d like more information about blood and marrow transplants. You can also watch a video of a OHC patient who is thriving thanks to BMT.