• Stem Cell Transplantation Program

    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care

    The Stem Cell Transplantation Program has performed more than 7,000 stem cell and bone marrow transplants for the treatment of cancer since our program began in 1972. Our experts are highly regarded in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplants, and will work to address your needs throughout treatment and beyond.

    About the Stem Cell Transplantation Program

    Stem cell transplant patient with a clinician

    Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Stem Cell Transplantation program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center is one of the largest and most experienced stem cell transplant programs in the world. We have performed more than 6,500 transplants for the treatment of blood cancers and related disorders since our program began in 1972. Our center-specific outcomes have been recognized as among the best in the United States.

    The doctors, researchers, and patient care staff in our treatment team are highly regarded in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplant procedures. They will collaborate with our hematologic malignancies care teams and your referring physician to create the most effective treatment strategies.

    An experienced team of dedicated stem cell transplant specialists will follow you through the continuum of transplant services in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

    Our stem cell transplant services include:

    • Autologous transplant, using your own stem cells;
    • Allogeneic transplant, using stem cells from a family member, unrelated matching donor, or umbilical cord blood;
    • Comprehensive services for related and unrelated donors;
    • Access to our extensive offering of specialized stem cell transplant clinical trials;
    • Transplantation for adults over age 60.

    What is a stem cell transplant?

    Stem cell transplantation refers to a procedure where healthy stem cells are transplanted from one individual to another, or using an individual's own stem cells. Sources of stem cells include bone marrow, peripheral blood or umbilical cord blood. You may hear the procedure referred to as a bone marrow transplant (BMT) or peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT) or umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT), depending on the source of the cells that are transplanted.

    Hematopoietic stem cells can grow into any of the cells found within the bloodstream. They make blood cells and the components that your immune system needs to function. During a transplant, your body is infused with healthy stem cells which then grow and produce all of the different parts of the blood that both your body and your immune system need.

    You may need a stem cell transplant when:

    • Your body cannot make the blood cells it needs because your bone marrow or stem cells have failed.
    • Your bone marrow or blood cells have become diseased and need to be replaced.
    • You have a disease that is treated with high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, which destroys both cancerous and stem cells at the same time.

    When you undergo a stem cell transplant, doctors replace your stem cells with healthy new stem cells from a volunteer stem cell donor. Here’s a brief overview of what happens:

    • You will receive chemotherapy and/or radiation to kill the diseased cells. This treatment, known as conditioning, will damage and possibly destroy your bone marrow/blood stem cells.
    • You will receive new, healthy stem cells (in a process called an infusion, which is similar to a blood transfusion) to replace the destroyed cells. Unlike other forms of organ transplant (e.g. heart, kidney, etc.) surgery is not required for a stem cell transplant.
    • The transplanted cells will begin to grow and produce healthy red and white blood cells and platelets.
    • The process of growing new blood cells generally takes between two and four weeks; during this time you may be hospitalized so that doctors can monitor your progress.

    In some cases, your own stem cells may be suitable for the procedure; this is called an autologous transplant. If you need stem cells from a donor (an allogeneic transplant) we will help coordinate that process through our comprehensive donor services program. Your physician will decide what type of transplant should be used for your treatment and the source of the transplanted stem cells.

    Accreditation and credentials

    • Charter member of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • Member of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR)
    • Member of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB)
    • Fully accredited with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
    • Accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT)
     

    Our Approach to Stem Cell Transplant

    The Stem Cell Transplantation program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston, Massachusetts combines the clinical expertise, focus, and innovation of one of the nation's leading cancer centers with the world-class care and services of one of the nation's leading hospitals. This collaboration enables us to provide superior care and support to our patients and their families.

    Our services include:

    • Autologous transplant, using your own stem cells;
    • Allogeneic transplant, using stem cells from a family member, unrelated matching donor, or umbilical cord blood;
    • Comprehensive services for related and unrelated donors;
    • Access to our extensive offering of specialized clinical trials;
    • Transplantation for adults over age 60.

    Your treatment team will work closely together to provide the highest standard of patient care. As a patient, you and your family will play an active role in decisions about your treatment plan.

    Our team of stem cell transplant specialists are dedicated to excellent and compassionate care. Throughout your treatment, you and your family will have access to support services and education programs, patient and family resource centers, financial counseling, and short- and long-term housing. A variety of services and complementary programs support your care, including:

    • Pharmacy services
    • Comprehensive donor services, including recruitment, registration, education, search and selection
    • Care coordination
    • Nutrition services
    • Emotional support and counseling services
    • Integrated therapies, such as massage and Reiki
    • Pain management
    • Long-term survivorship support through the Adult Survivorship Program.
     

    Our Stem Cell Transplant Team

    Our providers work together across a range of specialty areas to coordinate fully integrated, personalized care. A dedicated team of clinicians that specializes in your type of blood cancer works with you throughout your treatment, from diagnosis through long-term follow-up and specialized survivorship support.

    Patients receive world-class care from a team of specialists, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, hematopathologists, infectious disease specialists, hematologists, physician assistants, nurses, oral surgeons, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists, search coordinators, care coordinators, financial counselors, and clinical social workers.

    Your entire care team has extensive experience in stem cell transplantation. Our specialists work closely together and collaborate regularly to ensure that your care plan offers the best possible outcomes and that all your needs are met.

    Stem Cell Transplantation Leadership

    Joseph Antin, MD, Chief and Program Director, Stem Cell Transplant Program
    617-632-2525 

    Robert J. Soiffer, MD, Co-Chief, Stem Cell Transplant Program
    Chief, Hematologic Malignancies Division
    617-632-3667 

    Edwin Alyea, MD, Associate Director
    617-632-3903 

    Vincent Ho, MD, Clinical Director
    617-632-6256 

    Amy Emmert, MScPH, Vice President, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation and Cell Therapies
    617-632-3876  

    Stem Cell Transplant Physicians

    Edwin Alyea, MD
    Kenneth Anderson, MD
    Joseph H. Antin, MD
    Philippe Armand, MD, PhD
    James Bradner, MD
    Jennifer R. Brown, MD, PhD
    Corey Cutler, MD, MPH, FRCPC
    Matthew Davids, MD
    David C. Fisher, MD
    Arnold S. Freedman, MD
    Irene Ghobrial, MD
    Brett Glotzbecker, MD
    Vincent Ho, MD
    Eric Jacobsen, MD
    Caron Jacobson, MD
    John Koreth, MBBS, D Phil
    Ann LaCasce, MD
    Andrew Lane, MD, PhD
    Jacob Laubach, MD
    Jens Lohr, MD
    Nikhil Munshi, MD
    Sarah Nikiforow, MD, PhD
    Claudia Paba-Prada, MD
    Paul Richardson, MD
    Jerome Ritz, MD
    Robert Sackstein, MD, PhD
    Robert L. Schlossman, MD
    Margaret Shipp, MD
    Robert J. Soiffer, MD
    Catherine Wu, MD
    Rushdia Yusuf, MD 

    Stem Cell Research Scientists

    Glenn Dranoff, MD
    Jerome Ritz, MD
    Catherine Wu, MD 

    Stem Cell Transplant Nurses

    Patricia Byrne, RN
    Irene Heffernan, RN, BSN, OCN
    Kathleen Finn, RN
    Kathleen McDermott, RN
    Heidi DiPietro, RN
    Kristen Cummings, RN

    Stem Cell Transplant Nurse Practitioners

    Melissa Cochran, MS, FNP
    Virginia Dalton, NP
    Bonne Dirr, NP
    Tina Flaherty, NP
    Amy Joyce, MSN, NP, AOCN
    Mary McKenney, NP
    Kim Noonan, NP
    Katherine Stephans, RN, MS, CS, OCN
    Barbara Virchick, NP
    Michele Walsh, DNP

    Stem Cell Transplant Research Nurses

    Muriel Gannon, RN
    Mildred Pasek, RN, OCN, MM
    Sue Stephenson, RN, OCN

    Stem Cell Transplant Physician Assistants

    BMT-B/HM-PA

    Sara Close, PA-C, Chief PA
    Colleen Brown, PA-C
    Kendra Church, PA-C
    Shauna Curran, PA-C
    Donna Fitzgerald, PA-C
    Jeffrey Hellman, PA-C
    Kate Kunstel, PA-C
    Alexis Landry, PA-C
    Janice MacGillivray, PA-C
    Kelsey Moore, PA-C
    Heidi Niell, MS, PA-C
    Kerri Rall, MS, PA-C
    Jennifer Starr, PA-C
    Olivia Weale, PA-C
    Deborah Yolin Raley, PA-C

    Stem Cell Transplant Clinical Coordinators

    Catherine Andrade
    Gail Delaney
    Pamela Kostaras, Operations Manager
    Blossom Marshall
    Melanie Skutnik

    Stem Cell Donor Services

    Cindy Albert, Associate Director, Stem Cell Donor Services
    Kimberly Allen, Stem Cell Transplant Search Coordinator
    Jane Antin, Stem Cell Transplant Search Coordinator
    Greg Bourdeau, Stem Cell Transplant Search Lead Coordinator
    Peg Coles, Donor Collection Coordinator
    Zarine Fernandez, Stem Cell Transplant Search Coordinator
    Lisa Koed, Donor Center Coordinator
    Patricia Kovalski, Donor Center Coordinator
    Peggy Powers, Donor Collection Coordinator
    Leigh Sullivan, Donor Services Recruiter

    Care Coordination

    Social Work

    Mary Lou Hackett, MSW, LICSW
    Larisa Patacchiola, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C
    Karen Skversky, MSW, LICSW
    Amanda Weber, MSW, LCSW
    Tammy Weitzman, MSW, LICSW

    Ambulatory Pharmacy Resource Specialist

    Darlene Holland, BSW, LSW

    Ambulatory RN Care Coordination

    Cinda Gaumer, RN, BSN

    Inpatient RN Care Coordination

    John Abbatematteo, RN
    Eileen Almeida, RN
    Alice Morrison, RN
    Terri O’Sullivan, RN

    Ambulatory Resource Office

    Miriam Fagan

    Inpatient Resource Office

    Mary O’Neill-Kerrigan

    Financial Counselors

    Shana Cuddy
    Robert Durand
    Raquel Gajonera
    Kevonyia Perkins
    Lisa Quashie
    Denyzes Williams

     

    Stem Cell Transplant Research

    We are committed to increasing access to stem cell transplant procedures, making it safer and more effective for patients, reducing transplant-related complications and improving immune system recovery.

    Our stem cell transplant clinical trials are nationally recognized for major advances in cancer treatment as a result of our research, including:

    • Developing new drugs to prevent or help manage graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD): a common and potentially severe side effect of stem cell transplants in which donor immune cells attack healthy patient cells and tissues.
    • Using cord blood transplant to increase treatment options for patients without other suitable matched donors
    • Developing cancer vaccine strategies for use along with transplant to stimulate the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect and minimize disease relapse. Graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect: a therapeutic effect in which transplanted immune cells attack residual leukemia or other tumor cells.

    We're also home to the Connell and O'Reilly Families Cell Manipulation Core Facility, which is New England's only state-of-the-art cell manipulation facility. This facility processes hematopoietic stem cells for transplant, generate modified tumor cells as therapeutic vaccines, and prepare immune cell populations for adoptive therapy.

    Learn about current stem cell transplant clinical trials at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center 

    Contact the Stem Cell Transplantation Program

    New patients and referring physicians

    For stem cell and bone marrow transplant inquiries, please call 617-632-5138.

    Fax: 617-632-3730 

    Mailing address:

    Center for Hematologic Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation Program
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Ave., D1B30
    Boston, MA 02215

     
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