Stem Cell Transplant

Since 1989, Baptist Cancer Center's Stem Cell Transplant Center has focused on innovative cancer treatment using high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell support within a standardized, integrated system dedicated to transplantation by leading cancer physicians.

Delivering the most appropriate care for a specific malignant disease requires the highest level of knowledge, planning, and commitment by cancer treatment physicians and their teams.

What is a stem cell transplant?

A stem cell is a new cell that has not yet decided what it wants to be when it grows up. When stem cells mature they are either a red blood cell that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, a white blood cell which fights infection, or a platelet which helps blood to clot when needed. New blood cells or stem cells are produced by the bone marrow. The process of stem cell transplant begins by administering certain chemotherapy drugs and/or growth factors called moderate dose chemotherapy or mobilization to promote the growth of bone marrow stem cells and their release into the blood stream.

What types of cancer do stem cell transplants treat?

The Baptist Stem Cell Transplant Center treats lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, testicular cancer, and breast cancer. These treatments may require short term or long term recovery as well as chemotherapy.

What are the types of transplants?

Baptist Cancer Center offers two types of transplants: Autologous transplants—a patient with a malignant disease receives his or her own bone marrow/stem cells, which have been collected and cryopreserved (frozen). Allogeneic transplants—a patient with a malignant disease receives bone marrow/stem cells from a related or unrelated donor.

How does an oncologist determine which patient needs a stem cell transplant?

General Eligibility Criteria for Autologous Stem Cell Transplants:

  1. Ages 18-65; Less than 70 years old for multiple myeloma
  2. Negative for HIV
  3. Negative for hepatitis
  4. Patients either are fully active and able to do everything they could do before being diagnosed, or are restricted by the disease, but able to walk, do light housework and office work (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0–1)
  5. No history of prior incurable cancer within the last five years
  6. No evidence of active infection
  7. Adequate lung, liver, heart and kidney function
  8. Minimum of two weeks following major surgery and all wounds healed
  9. Access to a companion or caregiver 24 hours a day for aid and assistance throughout the treatment process
  10. Signed informed consent
  11. No history of substance abuse or psycho-social complication, which in the opinion of the medical director would jeopardize successful participation