Bone Marrow Transplant Treatment FAQ

  1. Patients with malignant and non-malignant disorders can be treated by autologous or allogeneic stem cell (hematopoietic) transplant, also called a bone marrow transplant.

    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 a bone marrow transplant at St. Jude. For more information, email transplant@stjude.org.

  2. Survival rates vary. Outcomes for children having autologous or allogeneic bone marrow transplants have improved during the past several decades. However, outcomes vary according to the child’s underlying disease and disease status at the time of transplant.

    Your transplant physician can discuss this question after reviewing your child’s treatment, disease status, type of transplant needed and pre-transplant evaluation results.

  3. Side effects from bone marrow transplants can range widely. For more details on possible complications, read what to expect with a bone marrow transplant.

  4. St. Jude performs about 125 bone marrow transplant procedures each year at the hospital.

  5. Ask your child’s physician to call the Physician/Patient Referral Office at (901) 595-4011, toll-free at 1-888-226-4343. A physician must initiate all referrals. For more information, email referralinfo@stjude.org.

  6. As soon as your child’s physician says a bone marrow transplant is a treatment option, you should ask the doctor to contact the Physician/Patient Referral Office at (901) 595-4011, toll-free at 1-888-226-4343 or referralinfo@stjude.org  for a consultation. It can take a while to locate a donor, if that is necessary, and other therapy may affect the toxicity of bone marrow transplantation.

  7. Patients treated elsewhere must meet specific criteria for enrollment in St. Jude bone marrow transplant clinical trials.

    Learn how to seek treatment at St. Jude >

  8. We will be happy to discuss potential treatment options available at St. Jude for your child. If you have questions, contact the Physician/Patient Referral Office at (901) 595-4011, toll-free at 1-888-226-4343 or referralinfo@stjude.org.

  9. Patients stay in the Transplant Unit for at least four to six weeks. If complications occur, that time may be longer. Your child must stay in Memphis for at least 3 months after transplant.

    Learn more about the transplant process >

  10. All patients who come to St. Jude take part in clinical trials. St. Jude has a long history of clinical research, which has been important to treatment advances during the past 50 years. All trials are carefully monitored by institutional and federal agencies. Your child’s transplant physician will discuss the clinical trial in detail with you and your child.

  11. Immunotherapy is a type of treatment. It is a special form of cellular therapy that uses immune cells as treatment. The immune system finds and gets rid of viruses, bacteria, cancer cells and other foreign substances in the body. When healthy cells become cancerous, they can also hide from our body’s immune cells. The immune system may not recognize tumor cells as foreign or may not be strong enough to kill these cells. Immunotherapy revs up the immune cells to better find and kill cancer cells.

    Learn more about immunotherapy >

  12. CAR T-cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy. Doctors take white blood cells from your child or someone else. One type of white blood cell we collect is called a T cell. T cells help the body’s immune system find and destroy foreign cells. T cells can be made more powerful by adding a special receptor to the cells. These receptors help the T cells to see and kill cancer cells.

    Learn more about CAR T-cell therapy >

  13. Visitation of patients in the Transplant Unit is restricted to lower infection risks. People who are sick or who could be sick should not visit patients.

    Learn about visitor guidelines >

  14. We assist with housing, meals and travel for the patient and one parent during your stay at St. Jude. For more details, read While You're Here.