Bone Marrow Transplant Program

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.
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The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program is world-renowned for its expertise in hematopoietic cell transplantation to treat a wide variety of hematological conditions. Currently, we conduct over 200 transplant procedures annually. In addition to comprehensive and compassionate multi-disciplinary care for our patients, we also conduct leading-edge clinical and translational research to develop innovative strategies for improving the outcomes of patients undergoing BMT.

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

Reducing the toxicities of BMT:

  • Development of new strategies for reducing both acute and chronic transplant related toxicities
  • Analysis of patient-reported quality of life undergoing BMT and developing new interventions to improve the experience of our patients and their caretakers
  • BMT Survivorship program to better address the long-term health needs of patients after transplant

Novel treatment approaches against graft-vs-host disease (GVHD):

  • Participation in national consortiums and clinical trials studying acute and chronic GVHD
  • Development of new therapies to prevent acute and chronic GVHD
  • Development of new therapies to treat acute and chronic GVHD
  • Restoration of microbiome diversity after BMT through fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT)

Developing safer and more effective stem cell transplant protocols for patients who do not have a fully matched related or unrelated donor:

  • Novel strategies using umbilical cord blood
  • Innovative protocols involving haploidentical (partially matched relatives) donors

Reducing disease relapse after stem cell transplantation:

  • Study the use of maintenance therapies after both autologous and allogeneic transplantation to reduce disease relapse

Increasing tolerance for solid organ transplants by performing combined kidney and bone marrow transplants for patients who have both advanced kidney disease and an underlying blood disease.

Collaborate with other colleagues in the Mass General Cancer Center to deliver innovative cellular therapies including chimeric antigen T-cells (CAR-T) and customized T-cell products.



The Mass General Cancer Center Bone Marrow Transplant Program has been designated a Center of Excellence by The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match.

Meet the Team

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

  • Yi-Bin Chen, MD

    Director, BMT Program
    Cara J. Rogers Endowed Scholar
    Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

See the Complete List of BMT Team Members

Patient Education

Information about Bone Marrow Transplant Procedures

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 cancer

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 Bone Marrow Transplant

Tour the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit on Lunder 10

Take a tour of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Mass General Cancer Center. Learn all about the unit, including the services and amenities you and your loved ones can expect during your stay here.


Tour the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit on Lunder 10

Take a tour of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Mass General Cancer Center. Learn all about the unit, including the services and amenities you and your loved ones can expect during your stay here.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies which are conducted to answer questions. They can test many things from new drugs, new combinations of drugs, already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new or different ways or investigating novel approaches to treat specific patients in unique circumstances. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines with specific criteria for eligibility. The Mass General Bone Marrow Transplant Program has a very active clinical research portfolio with investigational studies covering almost all aspects of transplant care. The ultimate goal of clinical research is to improve the outcomes for all of our patients. If you are eligible for a clinical trial, your physician will offer you the chance for participation. We will comprehensively review the logistics and purpose of the trial and also offer alternatives including the standard of care.

Contact Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Director, BMT Program, with questions about Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials:

Find listings of our current clinical trials.



If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our physicians, please contact the Mass General Cancer Center at 877-726-5130.

Honors & Awards

BMT team the one hundred honorees

View BMT team members honored for their commitment to the fight against cancer.

BMT Survivorship program featured in The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA

The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA spoke with Julie Vanderklish, NP, about the comprehensive efforts involved in planning the BMT Survivorship program and bringing it to fruition. Ms Vanderklish is co-leader of the program under the directorship of Areej El-Jawahri, MD, a BMT and palliative care specialist at the Mass General Cancer Center. Read the article here

(Used with permission from The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA, Vol. 10, No. 2, March 2017.)

2016 Thomas R. Spitzer Clinician of the Year

To honor his years of dedication and service, the Mass General Cancer Center announced in 2016 the Thomas R. Spitzer Clinician of the Year Award which will be given each year to a clinician in the division of Hematology/Oncology who exemplifies and embodies the clinical and academic values that Tom Spitzer has demonstrated for years at Mass General. The inaugural recipient in 2016 was Dr. Steven McAfee of the BMT Program.

2015 Jane Grier Memorial Prize

The Mass General Cancer Center awards the annual Jane Grier Memorial Prize each year to a faculty member who is recognized for their commitment to hematology / oncology education of fellows and young faculty. Yi-Bin Chen, MD was selected in 2015, having been nominated by fellows and young faculty for his mentorship to their careers.

Cara J. Rogers Endowed Scholar

In 2013 the Rogers Family Foundation established the Cara J. Rogers Endowed Scholar to Advance Research in Bone Marrow Transplantation. Learn how Yi-Bin Chen, MD is working to improve outcomes for patients who undergo transplants. Read More


2018 American Society of Hematology Meetings in San Diego, CA

At this year’s ASH Annual Meeting, the ASH Practice Partnership Lunch focused on “How to Incorporate Palliative Care into Practice: Addressing Barriers and Solutions.” The session was moderated by ASH Committee on Practice Chair, Dr. Joseph Alvarnas from City of Hope, and the panelists included, Dr. Areej El-Jawahri from Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Tammy Kang from Texas Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Bob Arnold from the University of Pittsburgh. This well attended event was open to all U.S.-based practicing members. Excitingly, Dr. El-Jawahri will lead an upcoming multicenter phase 3 study in 2019 to definitely test the benefit of incorporating palliative care into the initial hospitalizations for patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Dr. Yi-Bin Chen
, Director of the MGH BMT Program, gave two oral presentations on recent clinical trials. The first involved administration of the checkpoint inhibitor, pembrolizumab, after autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The second study was based on his own original longstanding interest in incorporating vedolizumab, a monoclonal antibody directed against an intestinal specific white blood cell trafficking molecule, for the prevention of acute graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). The exciting interest and momentum behind this study is leading to an international phase 3 trial to definitively test this concept. Dr. Chen also gave a brief summary of this work which can be seen here.

2018 MGH Nursing Research Day

MGH BMT Program Quality Officer Susan O’Donnell, MSN, RN, OCN, BMT CN presented her study on increasing nurses’ knowledge and confidence in caring for central line in immunocompromised patients. This important study aimed to help reduce the number of central line associated bloodstream infections for inpatients undergoing BMT. Her work was awarded 1st prize in the Quality Improvement category.

MGH BMT Program at the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation

The 43rd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation was held in Marseille, France.

Zack DeFilipp, MD gave an oral abstract presentation entitled “Third party fecal microbiota transplantation in hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients”. This presentation summarized the preliminary results of our pilot study administering fecal microbiota transplantation to patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation in order to preserve microbiome diversity.

MGH BMT Program at the 2017 BMT Tandem Meetings

The 2017 BMT Tandem Meetings were held in Orlando, FL at the Gaylord Palms Convention Center. The MGH BMT Program was represented well in educational and research presentations:

Areej El-Jawahri, MD
Jessica Driscoll, DNP
  • Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Director of the BMT Program, presented a summary of the upcoming BMT CTN 1506 trial at the BMT CTN Investigator’s meeting. This is a phase 3 randomized clinical trial investigating the use of a FLT3 inhibitor after allogeneic BMT for patients with FLT3 mutated AML. Dr. Chen will co-chair this important international multicenter trial with Dr. Mark Levis from Johns Hopkins.
Request an Appointment Request a Remote Second Opinion

Talk to an access nurse today 877-726-5130

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