stem cell transplant center may be one of the most important decisions you make
during your child’s treatment for cancer, blood disorders, or other diseases. To
help you make the best decision, consult our stem cell transplant center checklist (interactive PDF), which provides
key questions to ask as you consider options for your child. The questions —
and answers regarding our Pediatric
Stem Cell Transplant Center — are also listed below.
How long has the center been performing stem cell transplants?The
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Center was founded
in 1972. Since 2004, the Center has performed more than 1,125 stem cell
transplants for children – making us one of the largest and most experienced stem cell transplant centers for children in the world.
How many transplants has the center performed for your child's
specific condition?Currently, our
program performs more than 125 stem cell transplants each year. The table below
shows the number of transplants for each disease type since 2004. (Note: numbers are reported by fiscal year, which is Oct 1-Sept 30 for our center.)
Leukemia and Lymphoma
Bone Marrow Failures
Does the center have a commitment to reporting and following patient
outcomes, above and beyond national requirements?At
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s, we consistently participate in national outcomes
reporting. We also have played a major role in developing outcomes metrics and
standards, as well as analyzing patient outcomes data. Capturing this data
ensures that we continually improve our outcomes – and provide the highest
standards of care.
How many credentialed transplant physicians does the center have on
pediatric stem cell transplant program currently has 14 credentialed transplant
specialists on staff. All are faculty members of Harvard Medical School. Our
transplant physicians include past and present leaders with such organizations
as the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Center for
International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.
Do the center’s nurses have extensive, specialized experience caring for
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s, all of our transplant nurses are certified
pediatric oncology nurses with transplant-specific training. Our nurses work
collaboratively with physicians and other team members to coordinate and
oversee each child’s treatment plan. Your program nurse will be your primary
point of contact and is an important resource for your family at each step of
Does the center actively collaborate with other clinicians in their
hospital or practice — such as pulmonary and infectious disease experts — who
specialize in stem cell transplantation?At
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s, our pediatric stem cell transplant program works
closely with designated pulmonary, imaging, infectious disease, metabolic
disorder, renal disease, pathology, radiation oncology, cardiology, nephrology,
surgery, and intensive care unit specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital who
have extensive experience caring for transplant patients.
Does the center offer clinical trials for stem cell transplant patients?Dana-Farber/Boston
Children’s has an active stem cell transplant research program, including many stem
cell transplant clinical trials. These studies are driving promising new techniques
and therapies in the field of pediatric stem cell transplantation. You child
may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial as part of treatment. Your
care team will discuss your child’s treatment plan at length with you,
including any clinical trial options available.
If you need an unrelated donor transplant, does the center have a
specially trained donor search coordinator?If you are having an
unrelated donor transplant, our pediatric-specific donor search coordinator
will provide support with this process. Once a suitable donor has been located,
the donor search coordinator will work with your care team, the donor registry,
and donor center to schedule the stem cell harvest. Our donor services program is accredited by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to coordinate donor searches for patients who do not have a related
Is the center accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of
Cellular Therapy and/or any other relevant organizations?In addition to being
accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular
Therapy for over a decade, our center is also fully accredited by the National Marrow Donor Program; a charter member of the Blood and Marrow
Transplant Clinical Trials Network of the National Institutes
of Health; and a member of both the Center for
International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B.
Does the center have a
dedicated Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility to process the stem cells
it uses for transplant?A GMP facility is one that adheres to
specific manufacturing processes and practices established by the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration. Dana-Farber is home to the Connell and
O'Reilly Families Cell Manipulation Core Facility — New England's only Class 10,000 GMP cell therapy facility an academic
Can the center identify members of a dedicated team that oversees
quality initiatives for stem cell transplantation?Dana-Farber has a Department of Cellular
Therapy Quality Assurance that is devoted to overseeing quality
improvement, quality assurance, and quality control issues involving stem cells
and all other cellular products used for patients.
Is the center available to answer all of your questions about treatment?Our team of stem cell
transplant specialists is dedicated to providing you with excellent and
compassionate care. Before, during, and after your child’s treatment, our team
is here to guide you in your decision-making process and answer any questions
you may have. Feel free to contact us at any time.
Will the same team be treating you
before, during, and after your transplant?At Dana-Farber/Boston
Children’s, your child will be cared for by a multidisciplinary group of
professionals, known as your care team, who specialize in stem cell
transplantation. Your care team will provide complete and well-managed care before,
during, and after your stem cell transplant.
Is there a person dedicated to working
with you and your insurance plan to address insurance coverage?At Dana-Farber/Boston
Children’s, each stem cell transplant patient is assigned a financial counselor
who will help explain your health insurance coverage as it relates to your
child’s transplant. As part of your child’s care team, your financial counselor
will be the link between you and your insurance company. He or she will verify
your insurance benefits, identify any patient financial responsibilities (such
as co-pay amounts, deductibles, co-insurance, and coverage "caps"),
and provide the appropriate clinical information that your health insurance
provider will require for prior authorization.
Is the center able to
collaborate with your local medical provider on your pre- and post-transplant
Our transplant physicians
are committed to working closely with your referring physician throughout your
transplant experience. At each step, we will communicate and collaborate with
your local care team – including providing weekly emails – to ensure a seamless
continuum of care.
What patient education
materials, classes, and/or programs does the center offer?To help families understand
the stem cell transplant procedure, and to help you feel as comfortable as
possible through every step of care, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s created a
Stem Cell Transplant Patient and Family Guidebook. You'll receive and review
your guidebook during an education session with a program nurse. Families also
can find special programs and resources at the Betty Ann Blum and Marjorie Blum
Pediatric Resource Room, where professional staff and volunteers provide
guidance and answer questions.
What emotional and psychological support
services does the center provide?At Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s,
you’ll have access to many support services to help the entire family through
each stage of the transplant process. These include:
Can the center put you in touch with
transplant survivor families who are willing to talk to you about their
experiences?If you wish to speak with someone who
has been through the stem-cell transplant experience and understands the
complex issues of transplant and survivorship, we can put you in touch with
other families who have been through the process and are willing to lend an ear
and provide support and guidance.
Learn moreFind more in-depth information about our pediatric Stem Cell Transplant
Leslie Lehmann, MD, explains stem cell transplants. Dana-Farber/Boston Children's has one of the most experienced pediatric stem cell transplant programs in the United States.