Stem Cell Transplantation Program
Our innovative approach
As one of the nation’s leading pediatric research centers, Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center is focused on advancing the understanding and treatment of pediatric cancer and related disorders, as well as developing new applications for stem cell transplantation. We are:
- members of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium and a Phase I Children’s Oncology Group Center
- currently investigating the use of autologous transplant for children with neuroblastoma and brain tumors, unrelated donor transplants for patients with sickle cell disease and long-term consequences of transplants, including pulmonary function and bone health
Our research scientists are recognized for their discoveries surrounding stem cell biology and blood formation. Our mission is to rapidly translate scientific discoveries into improved patient care. Some of our recent accomplishments include:
- In 2007, the laboratory of Leonard Zon, MD, discovered that adding a certain drug to blood stem cells in zebrafish and mouse models boosted stem cell production. Zon guided this discovery into a clinical trial to determine whether this drug might help transplant patients with leukemia. If successful, the drug may enhance recovery of the child’s blood and immune system and be an important advance in transplantation.
- Studies from the laboratory of George Daley, MD, PhD, showed that fat cells in the bone marrow suppress the recovery of blood cell production following bone marrow transplantation in mice. Scientists are testing drugs that block the formation of fat cells in anticipation of a future clinical trial in transplant patients.
We offer several programs for your child after her stem cell transplant:
- Our David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic helps survivors of childhood cancer address the long-term effects of their therapy. The Clinic includes special programs to ease patients' transition to post-transplant life, such as the School Liaison Program.
- In addition, we offer a multidisciplinary clinic staffed by nutritionists, endocrinologists, physical therapists, dermatologists, psychologists and social workers for childhood cancer survivors of all ages, as well as a special follow-up clinic for stem cell transplant patients.
- Our GVHD Clinic is a special program within the Jimmy Fund Clinic that addresses the needs of transplant patients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious potential complication of stem cell transplant. At the Clinic, patients meet with multiple medical experts during one outpatient visit in order to manage the disease and its symptoms.