What is the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program?

Our Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program provides care for children who need transplants of stem cells.

"Hematopoietic" (him-at-oh-poy-EH-tik) cell means blood-forming, and hematopoietic cells are a kind of stem cell. When hematology doctors talk about stem cells, they almost always mean hematopoietic cells.

There are three kinds of stem cell transplants:

  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Peripheral blood stem cell transplant
  • Cord blood transplant

The difference between the three kinds of transplants has to do with where we collect the stem cells: from the bone marrow, from the blood circulating in the body (peripheral blood) or from the umbilical cord of a newborn.

No matter which kind of transplant your child receives, the cells we use in the transplant are stem cells. These are immature blood cells that can grow into any of the other types of blood cells that your child needs: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, plasma cells and other important cells.

These new cells will replace the cells that your child's disease has damaged or destroyed.

What’s special about the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Seattle Children’s?

To perform hematopoietic cell transplants in children, we work closely with our partners from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). SCCA is a partnership between Fred Hutch, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's.

Fred Hutch has one of the largest stem cell transplant centers in the world. Dr. E. Donnall Thomas pioneered bone marrow transplant there and received a Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work.

Seattle Children's, Fred Hutch and the University of Washington are a comprehensive cancer center, as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

As a result of our doctors' expertise as pioneers in the field:

  • Our transplant results are outstanding.
  • We treat high-risk patients.
  • We offer the latest therapies.
  • We have a unique long-term follow-up program.

Our comprehensive program is designed to help your family prepare for a transplant, find a donor, go through each step of the transplant process, make the transition back home and manage any long-term transplant effects.

Who needs the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Program?

If your child has cancer or other health problems that affect the blood, your child's doctors may suggest a hematopoietic cell transplant.

These health problems include various types of leukemia, which is the most common childhood cancer, and some problems that are not cancer, such as aplastic anemia.

We use transplants for some solid tumors in children, including neuroblastoma.

We also use transplants to treat patients with immune deficiency diseases.

To learn more about all aspects of our Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, visit the pediatric transplant section of the SCCA website.

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