The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Michigan is the place where compassionate care, multidisciplinary collaboration and the latest research innovations come together to help patients whose conditions require that they undergo this highly specialized treatment.
More than 200 adult BMT procedures are performed at U-M each year – making us one of the largest programs in the state. Children and young adults receive bone marrow transplant through our Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.
- Multiple Myeloma
- Bone and soft-tissue sarcomas
- Other conditions including the failure of a patient’s own bone marrow or certain immunodeficiency disorders.
Our multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, physician assistants and transplant coordinators are specially trained in and solely devoted to stem cell transplantation; and includes social workers, psychologists, nutritionists and patient educators trained to address the special needs of BMT patients and their families.
Types of Transplants
The type of transplant a patient receives depends on who donates the bone marrow or blood stem cells. The most common types are:
Autologous Transplant - the patient donates his or her own stem cells prior to receiving chemotherapy and those cells are preserved for transplantation after treatment.
Allogeneic Transplant - stem cells are donated from a genetically-matched family member (usually a brother or sister). Genetic matching, called HLA matching, is done from blood samples. When the donor is an identical twin, the procedure is referred to as a Syngeneic Transplant.
Matched Unrelated Transplant – stem cells are donated by someone other than a family member. A donor is found through a worldwide donor registry coordinated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). The University of Michigan is a member center of the NMDP. Matched unrelated transplants are also categorized as allogeneic transplants.
Each transplant type depends on the unique needs of the patient and brings with it specific benefits and risks. Autologous transplants have a lower risk of infection during the conditioning period because a patient’s immune system will recover more quickly. Also, since the patient acts as his or her own donor, the risk of developing complications from rejection of the transplant, such as graft-vs.-host disease, are rare. For those and other reasons, autologous transplants are the preferred method of transplantation for many patients, including those with lymphoma.
Other forms of cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia (AMD), present a higher risk of relapse or recurrence. For those patients, the increased risks of infection or rejection presented in allogeneic transplants may be worth accepting in an attempt to knock out the cancer.
About Our Facilities
BMT patients are seen in a new state-of-the-art unit in the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Why a children's hospital? For patient safety and comfort. Key aspects include:
- A 32-bed inpatient unit dedicated solely to adult bone marrow transplant patients.
- Co-location with the BMT clinic and infusion unit, allowing full integration between the inpatient and outpatient settings to improve patient and family experiences.
- State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration for optimal air quality both inside and outside of patient rooms.
- An increased number of exam rooms and infusion chairs, which will reduce waiting time.
- Significantly expanded capacity for the Extra Corporeal Photopheresis (ECP) program, creating one of the top ECP programs in the world and providing cutting-edge therapies to transplant patients with graft-vs.-host disease as well as lung transplant patients facing organ rejection.
Leaders in Research
Behind the growth and success of the BMT Program is our commitment to research. Through our groundbreaking basic, translational and clinical research efforts, U-M has become an international leader in understanding and responding to the particular risks and consequences associated with BMT.
In particular, Cancer Center researchers are at the forefront of the study and treatment of graft-vs.-host disease, one of the most common and dangerous consequences of allogeneic transplantation. Because of our commitment to research, every patient can benefit from the very latest innovations to make transplantation safer and more effective.
The U-M BMT program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Hematopoietic Cell Therapy and is also approved by the National Marrow Donor Program and the Southwest Oncology Group. That recognition along with our level of experience means that U-M transplant specialists know what to recommend for each transplant candidate, what to expect from each procedure and how to respond to every challenge that may arise on the transplant journey.