Treatments and Services
Non-Malignant Transplant Program
What is the Non-Malignant Transplant Program?
Experts at our Non-Malignant Transplant Program care for children who have a disease other than cancer that may be helped by a transplant of hematopoietic stem cells. A transplant may greatly improve or cure several kinds of diseases affecting a child’s bone marrow or immune system.
The Non-Malignant Transplant Program is part of our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). We do the transplants here at Seattle Children’s, working closely with our partner in the SCCA, Fred Hutch. Please contact the SCCA at 800-804-8824 for more information, a second opinion or to make an appointment.
What is a hematopoietic stem cell transplant?
Hematopoietic (him-at-oh-poy-EH-tik) stem cells are young blood cells that can grow into any of the types of blood cells your child’s body needs. This includes the cells that are important for the blood system (white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets) as well as the immune system. A stem cell transplant works by replacing the body’s system for making blood cells, including the cells needed for a healthy immune system.
The new stem cells come from a healthy donor. This person may be a family member (called a related donor) or a healthy donor who is not related to you (an unrelated donor). A transplant using donated cells is called allogeneic (A-loh-jeh-NAY-ik).
What’s special about the Non-Malignant Transplant Program at Seattle Children’s
To get the right care for your child, our transplant doctors work closely with specialists in conditions that affect the body’s ability to make blood cells, fight infection and turn food into energy.
Our director, Dr. Lauri Burroughs, and the other experts at our Non-Malignant Transplant Program have many years of experience caring for young people with conditions that require stem cell transplants.
Diseases affecting the bone marrow and immune system make it hard for patients to tolerate the powerful drugs or radiation (called conditioning) that prepare their bodies for the transplant. Our team – led by Dr. Burroughs – has developed better ways to prepare young people with these conditions. The preparation treatments are called reduced-intensity or reduced-toxicity conditioning regimens. We continue to fine-tune the conditioning treatments to improve survival and reduce complications.
As a national research leader, Seattle Children’s can offer options that are available only through clinical trials. These include studies of the newest treatments, called Phase 1 studies, which are not offered at most treatment centers.
New advances let us transplant children who previously were not eligible or who would be considered too high-risk at other centers. Advanced options we offer include:
- A new conditioning preparation using 2 chemotherapy drugs (treosulfan and fludarabine phosphate) to get the body ready to accept stem cells. Dr. Lauri Burroughs leads the study. Read how results so far show much better survival.
- New ways to prepare children for transplant if they do not have a fully matched donor. Drs. Lauri Burroughs and Ann Woolfrey lead these studies.
- Approaches that help children avoid graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after transplant. Dr. Marie Bleakley works on ways to control T cells from donors so they do not attack the cells of transplant patients.
- Gene replacement therapy for children with some types of inherited conditions that affect the blood or immune system.
To transplant our patients, we work closely with Fred Hutch, our partner in the SCAA. More than 30 years ago, Fred Hutch pioneered stem cell transplants to treat blood disorders in children.
For details on the number of stem cell transplants we do each year and survival rates for children who receive them, see statistics and outcomes.
We also work with Fred Hutch and UW Medicine to do research on nonmalignant diseases so we can understand the causes and develop better treatments.
Transplant may not be the only option for your child’s illness. At Seattle Children’s, our specialists can provide a full range of treatments, based on what is best for your child.
Your child will get the care they need from experts in:
- Blood disorders (hematology)
- The immune system (immunology)
- Infectious diseases
- Metabolism (gastroenterology)
- Kidney disease (nephrology)
- Inflammatory diseases (rheumatology)
Our team members work together during the transplant process so your child gets the very best care for all aspects of their health. This continues after your child’s transplant. The team follows your child throughout their recovery.
Your child will benefit from the expertise of doctors at 10 other centers across the United States, in addition to Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutch. They are part of the Non-Malignant Board, formed by Dr. Burroughs in 2005.
The multidisciplinary board brings together experts in transplant, blood and bone marrow disorders, immunology, infectious and inflammatory diseases, metabolism, hormones, kidney and lung conditions and other subspecialties.
Combining different skills, knowledge and experience helps us determine the best treatment plan for your child.
- Our large team of doctors has over 40 years of experience diagnosing and treating children with conditions that affect their immune systems. They are experts in caring for patients with unusual or serious infections or autoimmuneproblems. Read more about Seattle Children’s Immunology Clinic.
- At our Immunology Diagnostic Laboratory we can do complex tests offered at only a few places in the world. Results from these tests help us know how to best treat your child’s disease.
- Researchers at our Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies work to improve diagnosis and treatment of disorders that involve the immune system. Our lab research and patient care helps us better understand how the immune system works.
- We are also active in organizations that support patients and families, including the Immune Deficiency Foundationand the Jeffrey Modell Foundation.
- The blood specialists in our Bone Marrow Failure Program are very experienced caring for children and teens with conditions that may require stem cell transplants.
- We offer a full range of treatments for marrow failure disorders in addition to stem cell transplants.
- Our team includes experts in treating other body systems that may be affected by marrow failure, including the heart, digestive system and bones.
- Our doctors are involved in the national registries for severe chronic neutropenia and for Shwachman-Diamond syndrome. Collecting information about people who have a disease helps researchers learn more about the disease and find better ways to treat it.
We care for your whole child. We don’t just treat their disease. Your family has a full team behind you, including specialists in nutrition, pain management, social work, physical therapy, psychology and emotional health. Read more about the supportive care we offer.
At Seattle Children’s, we work with many children and families from around the Northwest and beyond. Whether you live nearby or far away, we can help with financial counseling, schooling, housing, transportation, interpreter services and spiritual care. Read about our services for patients and families.
Conditions We Treat
Your child’s doctors may suggest a stem cell transplant to treat some types of:
- Immune disorders
- Bone marrow failure disorders, including aplastic anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, Fanconi anemia and dyskeratosis congenita
- Histiocytic disorders, in which a child’s immune cells damage their body instead of protecting it
- Inherited metabolic disorders that can make it hard to turn food into energy
- Autoimmune diseases, where a child’s immune system attacks their own body
- Infectious diseases
- Blood cell disorders that reduce a child’s energy and their ability to fight infection
- Platelet abnormalities, which limit blood clotting and cause bleeding problems
Who is on the Non-Malignant Transplant team?
Meet our transplant doctors:
- K. Scott Baker, MD
- Marie Bleakley, MD
- Lauri M. Burroughs, MD, director
- Paul A. Carpenter, MD
- Ann Dahlberg, MD
- Brandon Hadland, MD, PhD
- Kanwaldeep K. Mallhi, MD
- Soheil Meshinchi, MD, PhD
- Corinne Summers, MD
- Ann E. Woolfrey, MD
Professionals from many fields work together to plan treatment and care for your child. All team members have extra training and years of experience in the special needs of children and adolescents.