Blood and Marrow Transplant

Care team

Your team will include a transplant oncologist (sometimes called an “attending physician”) and a registered nurse who specializes in blood and marrow transplant. At some visits, you might see an advanced practice provider or a registered dietitian. A team coordinator schedules your visits. 

If you have complications or side effects during your engraftment and recovery, we can call in other Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center specialists to help. For example, if you have skin, heart or digestive issues, we might call in a dermatologist, cardiologist or gastroenterologist

We also have experts who can help you with dental care, pain services, physical therapy, Child Life Services and integrative medicine. Supportive care providers, such as psychologists or social workers, are available if you need them. If you or your family members do not speak English, we can arrange for specially-trained medical interpreter services.

Gastroenterologist Gastroenterologists are trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal system, including cancers of the liver, pancreas, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum and anus. Integrative medicine Combines conventional (standard) medical treatment with complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies that have been shown to be safe and to work. CAM therapies treat the mind, body and spirit. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
“By the time patients come in for their first appointment, they have already been through a lot. It doesn’t help that there is so much misinformation reported. We will get them good information, help them understand the process and provide the best care possible.”
— Filippo Milano, MD, PhD, Associate Director, Cord Blood Transplant Program

What each team member does

Transplant oncologist

This physician specializes in blood and marrow transplants (BMTs) and will oversee your treatments. A transplant oncologist sees you on a regular schedule to check how your cancer responds to treatment and how you are overall. You may also hear this provider referred to as your “attending physician.” 

Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.
Advanced practice provider (APP)

These health care professionals work closely with your transplant oncologist. There are two types: physician assistants (PAs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs). They help provide and coordinate your treatment and can see you without your physician. They also help manage any effects of your disease and treatment.

Nurse practitioner A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. In cancer care, a nurse practitioner may manage the primary care of patients and their families. A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. Nurse practitioners are licensed at the state level and certified by national nursing organizations. In cancer care, a nurse practitioner may manage the primary care of patients and their families, based on a practice agreement with a physician. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Physician assistant A health professional who is licensed to do certain medical procedures under the guidance of a physician. A health professional who is licensed to do certain medical procedures under the guidance of a physician. A physician assistant may take medical histories, do physical exams, take blood and urine samples, care for wounds and give injections and immunizations.
Team nurse (RN)

Your nurses manage your care alongside your physician. They also help with procedures and treatments. Nurses are resources for you and your caregiver. They can answer questions on a wide range of topics, like how to cope with side effects or get other services you need at Fred Hutch.

 

Caregiver A person who gives care to people who need help, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers or members of the clergy. They may give care at home, in a hospital or in another health care setting. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
Registered dietitian

Registered dietitians are credentialed food and nutrition experts. To earn this title, they must go through a lot of training and formal education, including doing an internship and passing a national registration exam. Registered dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy, which means they use an evidence-based approach to treat and help patients manage medical conditions through diet and nutrition. 

Pharmacist

Fred Hutch pharmacists fill the medications prescribed by your physician. They will teach you the right way to take your medications, and they can tell you what side effects may happen and what to do if you have side effects.

Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
Social worker

Fred Hutch social workers are professionals who are trained to offer support to patients who have received a cancer diagnosis, are going through cancer treatment or are in recovery. They also work with people who are at high risk for cancer. Oncology social workers are key team members who have the knowledge and resources to help connect you with the right resources, such as psychiatry and psychology services, to support you through preventive care or treatment. 

Team coordinator

Your team coordinator works closely with you and your physician. They serve as your scheduler.