Bone Marrow Transplant Treatment FAQ

How do I initiate a referral from my child's present physician?

Ask your child’s physician to contact the Clinical Transplant office at (901) 595-3300. A physician must initiate all referrals. For more information, email transplant@stjude.org.

    • St. Jude is one of the world's premier centers for the research and treatment of life-threatening childhood diseases.
    • St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.
    • The Transplant Program at St. Jude is one of the largest pediatric stem cell transplant programs in the world.
    • St. Jude is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for autologous and allogeneic peripheral blood and marrow transplantation in pediatrics and adults.

    St. Jude has one of the world's largest hematopoietic (blood) stem cell transplant programs dedicated to caring for children, teens and young adults. Since the first hematopoietic stem cell transplant at St. Jude was performed in 1982, the Transplant Program has performed more than 2,900 transplants.

    To improve outcomes and reduce side effects associated with transplantation, doctors in the St. Jude Transplant Program work closely with laboratory scientists to rapidly apply new developments from the lab to patient care. The program conducts clinical trials to study these new innovations.

  1. Patients with malignant and non-malignant disorders can be treated by autologous or allogeneic stem cell/bone marrow transplant at St. Jude.

    Our allogeneic transplant program treats patients with:

    Our autologous transplant program treats patients with high-risk solid tumors, including:

    Please contact us if your child’s disease is not listed and you are interested in pursuing a stem cell/bone marrow transplant at St. Jude.

  2. About 125 stem cell/bone marrow transplant procedures are performed annually at the hospital as part of clinical research protocols.

  3. As soon as your child’s physician tells you that stem cell/bone marrow transplant is a treatment option for your child. Have your child’s physician call the Transplant Office at (901) 595-3300 to arrange for a consultation. Because it can take a substantial amount of time to locate a donor, if that is necessary, and because additional therapy may affect the toxicity of stem cell/bone marrow transplantation, you should contact St. Jude right away.

  4. Sometimes. However, patients who are being treated elsewhere must meet specific eligibility criteria for enrollment on St. Jude stem cell/bone marrow transplant protocols.

  5. We will be happy to discuss your child’s treatment with you. If you have questions, please contact the Clinical Transplant Office at (901) 595-3300 or e-mail transplant@stjude.org.

  6. It varies. Outcomes for children undergoing autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplant have improved during the past several decades. However, outcomes vary according to the patient’s underlying disease and the patient’s disease status at the time of transplantation.

    For example, clinical trials at St. Jude have shown that patients who have hematologic malignancies and receive grafts from matched siblings have outcomes similar to those of patients who have the same diseases but receive grafts from unrelated donors.

    Your transplant physician can discuss this question with you once he or she has reviewed your child’s treatment, disease status, selection of stem cell collection and pre-evaluation results.

  7. Patients are hospitalized on the Transplant Unit at least 4 to 8 weeks. Depending on the complications that the patient experiences, the length of hospitalization may be longer. Patients undergoing stem cell/bone marrow transplant will reside in Memphis for about 100 days after transplantation.

    Patients are followed up for 10 years after transplantation or until they are 18 years old, whichever is longer. Patients treated on gene therapy protocols will be followed up for at least 15 years after the initial treatment. Autograft recipients are typically not seen at St. Jude after 100 days after transplantation.

  8. Assistance with housing, meals and transportation is provided for the patient and one parent during your stay with us. For more detailed information about available assistance, see While You're Here.

  9. All patients at St. Jude are treated on clinical trials. All trials are carefully regulated by institutional and federal agencies. Your child’s transplant physician will discuss the clinical trial in detail with you and your child. Once your child is enrolled on a research study, a clinical research nurse will be assigned to observe your child as he or she progresses on the protocol. St. Jude has a long history of clinical research, which has been crucial to the development of treatment advances during the past 50 years.

Bone Marrow Transplant Treatment FAQ (continued)

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Why is St. Jude an excellent place for my child's stem cell / bone marrow transplant?

  • St. Jude is one of the world's premier centers for the research and treatment of life-threatening childhood diseases.
  • St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.
  • The Transplant Program at St. Jude is one of the largest pediatric stem cell transplant programs in the world.
  • St. Jude is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for autologous and allogeneic peripheral blood and marrow transplantation in pediatrics and adults.

St. Jude has one of the world's largest hematopoietic (blood) stem cell transplant programs dedicated to caring for children, teens and young adults. Since the first hematopoietic stem cell transplant at St. Jude was performed in 1982, the Transplant Program has performed more than 2,900 transplants.

To improve outcomes and reduce side effects associated with transplantation, doctors in the St. Jude Transplant Program work closely with laboratory scientists to rapidly apply new developments from the lab to patient care. The program conducts clinical trials to study these new innovations.

What diseases are treated by stem cell / bone marrow transplant at St. Jude?

Patients with malignant and non-malignant disorders can be treated by autologous or allogeneic stem cell / bone marrow transplant at St. Jude.

Our allogeneic transplant program treats patients with:

  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML)
  • histiocytosis
  • sickle cell disease
  • bone marrow failure syndromes
  • aplastic anemia
  • thalassemia
  • metabolic storage disorders
  • certain high-risk solid tumors
  • immunodeficiencies

Our autologous transplant program treats patients with high-risk solid tumors, including:

  • neuroblastoma
  • Ewing sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET)
  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • desmoplastic small round cell tumor
  • Wilms tumor
  • germ cell tumors
  • lymphomas
  • brain tumors

Please contact us if your child’s disease is not listed and you are interested in pursuing a stem cell / bone marrow transplant at St. Jude.

How many stem cell / bone marrow transplants occur each year at St. Jude?

About 125 stem cell / bone marrow transplant procedures are performed annually at the hospital as part of clinical research protocols.

When should my child come to St. Jude for a stem cell / bone marrow transplant?

As soon as your child’s physician tells you that stem cell / bone marrow transplant is a treatment option for your child. Have your child’s physician call the Transplant Office at (901) 595-3300 to arrange for a consultation. Because it can take a substantial amount of time to locate a donor, if that is necessary, and because additional therapy may affect the toxicity of stem cell / bone marrow transplantation, you should contact St. Jude right away.

My child is already being treated. Can he or she be accepted for stem cell / bone marrow transplant at St. Jude?

Sometimes. However, patients who are being treated elsewhere must meet specific eligibility criteria for enrollment on St. Jude stem cell / bone marrow transplant protocols.

Should I get a second opinion about my child's condition and treatment options?

We will be happy to discuss your child’s treatment with you. If you have questions, please contact the Clinical Transplant Office at (901) 595-3300 or e-mail transplant@stjude.org.

What are the survival rates for patients undergoing stem cell / bone marrow transplant?

It varies. Outcomes for children undergoing autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell / bone marrow transplant have improved during the past several decades. However, outcomes vary according to the patient’s underlying disease and the patient’s disease status at the time of transplantation.

For example, clinical trials at St. Jude have shown that patients who have hematologic malignancies and receive grafts from matched siblings have outcomes similar to those of patients who have the same diseases but receive grafts from unrelated donors.

Your transplant physician can discuss this question with you once he or she has reviewed your child’s treatment, disease status, selection of stem cell collection and pre-evaluation results.

How long will my child be a patient at St. Jude?

Patients are hospitalized on the Transplant Unit at least 4 to 8 weeks. Depending on the complications that the patient experiences, the length of hospitalization may be longer. Patients undergoing stem cell / bone marrow transplant will reside in Memphis for about 100 days after transplantation.

Patients are followed up for 10 years after transplantation or until they are 18 years old, whichever is longer. Patients treated on gene therapy protocols will be followed up for at least 15 years after the initial treatment. Autograft recipients are typically not seen at St. Jude after 100 days after transplantation.

What type of support network does St. Jude have for family members?

Assistance with housing, meals and transportation is provided for the patient and one parent during your stay with us. For more detailed information about available assistance, see While You're Here.

Will St. Jude use experimental treatments on my child?

All patients at St. Jude are treated on clinical trials. All trials are carefully regulated by institutional and federal agencies. Your child’s transplant physician will discuss the clinical trial in detail with you and your child. Once your child is enrolled on a research study, a clinical research nurse will be assigned to observe your child as he or she progresses on the protocol. St. Jude has a long history of clinical research, which has been crucial to the development of treatment advances during the past 50 years.