Pediatric blood and marrow transplant
At the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, your child will receive world-class care. Our program is one of the largest, most experienced and most respected centers for pediatric blood and marrow transplant (BMT) in the world.
Our experts from Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutch begin by developing a personalized BMT plan for your child. They continue to stand by you as your child goes through treatment, recovery and beyond with our family support services and lifetime Pediatric Long-Term Follow-Up (LTFU) Program. By working together, we make sure your child and family receive the right care for the rest of your child’s life.
The Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant clinic is moving from Fred Hutch to Seattle Children’s Hospital in fall 2022.
If your child has an upcoming appointment on Oct. 17, 2022, or later, please note that your visit will take place in the new location at Seattle Children's Hospital. If you have any questions, please contact your care team.
Beginning Oct. 17, 2022, the new address for the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant outpatient clinic will be:
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Forest B, Level 7
4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Parking: Forest Garage
Leading the way
The world’s first bone marrow transplant happened in the 1970s, when one of our leading physician-researchers, E. Donnall Thomas, MD, and his team developed the clinical use of transplants — and won a Nobel Prize for this work.
Since then, our physicians and scientists have carried this work forward, creating many of the BMT methods now used in treatment centers around the world. The latest transplant therapies allow even more children and adults with serious diseases to be successfully treated, and many of them are available through our clinical trials.
Fred Hutch was also the first to establish an unrelated donor program. This program became the National Marrow Donor Program, which now helps thousands of people every year find a match outside their family.
Where treatment happens
Your child will be treated at South Lake Union clinic and nearby Seattle Children’s, one of the most highly rated pediatric hospitals in the U.S. After their BMT, your child will recover in Seattle Children’s large transplant wing, specially designed for children and families just like yours.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Conditioning is when a patient receives chemotherapy, radiation or both before a BMT. This is done to destroy or weaken the damaged cells in their body.
Sometimes the amount of radiation, chemotherapy or both that is needed to treat a cancer is so high that a patient’s stem cells will be badly damaged or destroyed by these treatments. Other times, bone marrow can be destroyed by a disease. BMT replaces these damaged cells with healthy new cells.
The cells that are transplanted, called hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells, can come from bone marrow, circulating blood or umbilical cord blood donated by a new mother.
BMT is often used to treat pediatric cancers like leukemia or lymphoma that cause a child’s bone marrow to make too many blood cells or the wrong type of blood cells.
At SCCA, we use BMT to treat children when their marrow stops making new blood cells (called severe aplastic anemia) or when certain blood cells aren’t working right (such as defective white blood cells in immune deficiencies, overaggressive white blood cells in autoimmune diseases, or misshaped red blood cells like those found in sickle cell disease).
We also use BMT to treat other rare pediatric diseases, such as high-risk neuroblastoma, and nonmalignant diseases, such as Fanconi anemia, scleroderma and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Allogeneic: When healthy stem cells used in a transplant come from a donor, it is called an allogeneic transplant.
Autologous: When healthy stem cells come from a patient’s own body, it is called an autologous transplant.
Blood/stem cell: When the healthy stem cells come from a patient’s own blood (autologous) or a healthy donor’s blood (allogeneic), it is called a blood/stem cell transplant. These are the most common type of transplants.
Bone marrow: When healthy stem cells come from a healthy donor’s bone marrow, it is called a bone marrow transplant.
Cord blood: After a baby is born, parents can choose to donate their umbilical cord. The blood from the cord is frozen, then stored in a cord blood bank until it is used in a transplant. A cord blood transplant is a type of allogeneic transplant.
Haploidentical (haplo): Sometimes a parent, sibling or child can be a donor, even if they are not a very close match to the patient. In a haploidentical transplant, these first-degree relatives only need to be a 50 percent match to the patient.
Your initial consultation
You will begin with an initial consultation with a transplant specialist, who will talk with you about your child’s treatment options and make recommendations for you and your referring physician. This appointment can be in person or through telehealth.
If the appointment is in person, you’ll also meet with a transplant nurse, who will tell you more about BMT and give you a tour of the South Lake Union clinic. This is also a time for us to get to know you and your child better and answer any questions you may have.
Care at Fred Hutch
Your Fred Hutch transplant team is here to treat your child, to listen to you and to take care of your child and family. They are BMT experts who focus exclusively on treating children just like yours, every day, who are going through BMT.
About your transplant team
Your child’s team includes a group of world-class professionals including a transplant physician, transplant nurse, advanced practice provider, pharmacist, registered dietitian, team coordinator and social worker, all here to support your child and family. We also offer supportive care services to help your child’s well-being in every sense.
BMT involves several steps. It will take about four months if your child is receiving cells from a donor and about two months if your child’s own cells will be used.
After your initial consultation, the next step is finding a stem cell donor for your child, if they need one, or preparing to have your child’s stem cells collected for use in their transplant later. We will guide you, step by step, as you get ready.
When you arrive at Fred Hutch, the pediatric BMT team thoroughly evaluates your child’s health before providing their conditioning treatment (chemotherapy, radiation or both).
Next, your child will go to Seattle Children’s for their transplant infusion. After the infusion, your child will stay at the hospital, and we will carefully monitor them as their bone marrow and immune system recover. We will continue to support you and your family until your child is ready to go home and return to your referring physician’s care.
When it’s time to go home, we will make sure you and your child feel ready and we will talk to you about joining our Pediatric Long-Term Follow-Up (LTFU) Program.
Our Long-Term Follow-Up (LTFU) Program is one of the most respected post-transplant care programs in the world, helping families transition back home after a child has recovered. The LTFU program will help you manage any transplant-related issues, such as problems related to growth and development, as well as health problems that are not related to transplant.
At SCCA, our team of dedicated BMT experts give your child and family the highest level of care and support. You’re part of the care team, too. And your child and family are at the center of everything we do.
More than 50 years ago, Nobel Prize-winner E. Donnall Thomas, MD, and his team at Fred Hutch first developed clinical use of transplants. Today, the world-famous physician-scientists at Fred Hutch Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA continue to lead the way.
As part of planning for your child’s transplant, it is important to understand what caregivers do. If a parent cannot be a caregiver, another responsible adult family member or friend will need to take on this role and stay with the child during treatment and recovery.