Treatment Programs

Bone Marrow Transplant

Our Bone Marrow Transplant program is committed to developing leading-edge strategies for autologous and allogeneic bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for a wide variety of hematologic malignancies, solid tumors and other life-threatening hematologic disorders

 

On this page you will find information to help you:

Information about Bone Marrow Transplant Procedures

Learn More about this Condition
Bone marrow — the soft, spongy tissue inside the large bones in the body — can be affected by a variety of blood disorders, blood cancers and other diseases. Hematopoietic (blood) stem cells live in the bone marrow and give rise to all of the other components of the blood.

Bone marrow or stem cell transplants are performed for several reasons:

  • 1. To rescue and restore blood components after the patient has received high doses of chemotherapy or radiation as treatment
  • 2. To replace the patient’s blood system because their own is failing
  • 3. To replace the patient’s blood system in order to grow a new immune system which can attack the patient’s canceThe type of white blood cell that is affected (called a myeloid cell or a lymphoid cell).

The terms bone marrow transplant and stem cell transplant are used somewhat interchangeably.  For various reasons, one may receive bone marrow or blood stem cells.

Autologous vs. Allogenic Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplants
There are two basic types of bone marrow transplant procedures:

  • In an autologous bone marrow transplant, patients receive their own stem cells
  • In an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, patients receive donor stem cells

Following a bone marrow transplant, the donated stem cells start making new blood cells and other components from within the bone marrow.

Learn more about stem cell / bone marrow transplants on our patient education page.

Back to top

Our BMT Team

 

See the Complete Team List

Steven McAfee, MD

Our team's multidisciplinary approach to evaluation, management, and treatment provides each patient with individually-tailored care.


See the complete team list treating Bone Marrow Transplants

Steven L. McAfee, MD
Clinical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Back to top

Our Approach

The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program is world-renowned for its expertise in bone marrow transplantation to treat a wide variety of hematological conditions.  We also conduct leading-edge clinical and translational  research to develop innovative strategies for improving the outcomes of patients undergoing bone marrow transplant.

Our program is advancing clinical care and research in several areas and these include:

  • Reducing the side effects of BMT
    o Developing new strategies for reducing both acute and chronic transplant related toxicities
    o Studying the quality of life reported by patients undergoing BMT and developing new interventions to improve the experience of our patients and their caretakers
    o Creating a BMT Survivorship program to better address the long-term health needs of patients after transplant
  • Novel treatment approaches against graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD)
    o Participation in national consortiums studying GVHD
    o Development of new therapies to treat acute and chronic GVHD
  • Developing safer and more effective stem cell transplant protocols for patients who do not have a fully matched related or unrelated donor
    o Novel strategies using umbilical cord blood
    o Innovative protocols involving haploidentical (half-matched relatives) donors
  • Reducing disease relapse after stem cell transplantation
    o Studying the use of maintenance therapies after both autologous and allogeneic transplantation to reduce disease relapse
  • Increasing tolerance for solid organ transplants by
    o Performing combined kidney and bone marrow transplants for patients who have both advanced kidney disease and an underlying blood disease

Developing Better Therapies through Translational Research

The Bone Marrow Transplant Program benefits from a close association with the Transplant Biology Research Center. We are dedicated to understanding the basic immunologic mechanisms through which specific tolerance can be induced for solid organ transplants by performing combined bone marrow and organ transplants. We are also conducting investigations into the mechanism of the graft versus tumor effect of BMT and how it can be separated from graft versus host disease to improve overall outcomes for our patients.

Research and Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of breast cancer that use the latest in cancer treatments.

Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Bone Marrow Treatment Program has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.

Click below to find listings of our current clinical trials.

Find Clinical Trials for this Condition

Back to top

Contact UsIf you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our physicians, please call the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at (617) 724-1124.

 

 

Back to top

Support and Wellness

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

Illuminations Program

Illuminations is a rotating art exhibit displayed in the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The program aims to enlighten and encourage patients and their loved ones by enhancing our environment of care.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

A lifesaving gift

MGH Hotline 2.18.11 The meeting of 50-year-old Erin Cortright with 28-year-old Carrie Atkins, surrounded by a team of MGH caregivers from the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, brought tears to many eyes.

Lunder Building 9 and 10 medical oncology floors

MGH Hotline 3.18.11

Bangladesh Minister of Health visits MGH

On June 8, the Bangladesh Minister of Health and Family Welfare, A. F. M. Ruhal Haque, MBBS, met with MGH staff members to discuss longstanding collaborations between Bangladesh health care services and various MGH departments.

Bone Marrow Transplant team opens new lab

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Jan. 29 to officially open the new Bone Marrow Transplant Cellular Processing Laboratory.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

Illuminations Program

Illuminations is a rotating art exhibit displayed in the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The program aims to enlighten and encourage patients and their loved ones by enhancing our environment of care.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

Cancer Center

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-5130

patient

Request an appointment at the Cancer Center

Contact the Cancer Center to schedule an appointment with one of our cancer specialists

Discover the Cancer Center patient experience

Our approach to patient care unites cancer specialists across the hospital to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

patient

Make a gift to the Bone Marrow Transplant program

Help our team provide the highest quality of care to patients while establishing advanced techniques in blood and bone marrow transplantation.