Some children may be cured of sickle cell disease by a transplant of blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells from a healthy donor. Hematopoietic (him-at-oh-poy-EH-tik) stem cells are immature cells that grow into blood cells. This treatment is called a stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant.
A transplant helps your child’s bone marrow make healthy red blood cells that do not become sickle shaped. With healthy red blood cells, a child is no longer at risk for pain, severe anemia, infections or other complications.
If transplant may be an option for your child, we will talk with you about the risks and benefits. We also talk with you about whether transplant fits with your family’s values, goals and priorities.
Our Non-Malignant Transplant Program specializes in stem cell transplants for children with blood disorders and other noncancer conditions. Children need powerful drugs or radiation (called conditioning) to prepare their body for the transplant. Our team has created better ways to prepare patients and help them recover. This preparation is called reduced-intensity conditioning.
We perform the transplants here at Seattle Children’s, working closely with Fred Hutch, our partner in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.