Treatment

Siteman Advantage

Patients come from all over the United States and around the world to receive a blood or marrow transplant at Siteman. Washington University Physicians have been performing transplants for almost 40 years. Our blood and marrow transplant program opened in 1982 and has grown rapidly since.

Today, we are one of the largest programs in the world and offer advantages found at few other cancer centers, including a comprehensive clinical trials program, novel immunotherapies, state-of-the-art facilities, innovative research, and an expert team of physicians, nurses, and other staff who all specialize in the care of transplant patients. The resources available at Siteman allow us to take on patients that are turned away from other transplants centers due to the complexity of their cases.

There are many reasons to choose Siteman Cancer Center for your blood or marrow transplant.

World-class care

  • Washington University Physicians have performed more than 7,500 stem cell transplants since 1982. This means that our doctors, nurses, and staff are extremely experienced at what they do.
  • We are a leader in unrelated donor transplants. We have offered the procedure since 1992 and perform close to 100 every year, which is one of the highest rates in the world.
  • Our cancer and transplant programs are integrated, which means that you can be treated by the same physician and medical team from your diagnosis, through your transplant, and into survivorship. We are able to continue caring for you for your entire life.
  • We have 14 transplant physicians and six medical oncologists on staff, as well as a multidisciplinary team of transplant coordinators, transplant nurse practitioners, dietitians, physical therapists, social workers and others.
  • Patient facilities include a 94-bed inpatient unit for individuals with hematologic malignancies and an adjacent 31-bed unit for individuals undergoing transplant, which includes 10 ICU beds and rooms with HEPA filtration systems.
  • Our program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for both autologous and allogeneic transplants as well as the collection and processing of cellular products. We are an active member of the National Marrow Donor Program, International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, North American Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network and Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Transplant Consortium.

Ground-breaking research

When you undergo a blood or marrow transplant at Siteman Cancer Center, your physicians are also medical researchers at the top of their fields. In 2008, members of our team were the first in history to sequence the DNA of a patient’s cancer, a case of acute myeloid leukemia. Their work helped usher in a new era of precision cancer treatment, in which a patient’s genes and genetic mutations guide decisions about his or her care.

Washington University Physicians at Siteman continue to pursue new drugs, therapies, and techniques to treat hematologic cancers and to make blood and marrow transplants safer and more effective. They also hope to discover treatments that are even better for patients than transplants.

  • At any given time, we have more than 60 clinical trials underway for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and other diseases of the blood. Some of these trials are specific to transplant patients.
  • We pioneered plerixafor, a drug that makes it easier to collect stem cells from patients undergoing autologous transplants for lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
  • Studies from our team have shown that next-generation sequencing can predict whether patients with myelodysplastic syndromes are likely to relapse after a blood or marrow transplant.
  • A number of our research programs are working to make blood and marrow transplants safer by reducing or eliminating graft-versus-host disease, a common complication. In a break-through study, our physicians demonstrated that Janus kinase inhibitors could prevent GVHD, a finding that has led to numerous clinical trials.
  • Researchers associated with our program have developed a next-generation sequencing tool, Clinseq, to tailor treatments for patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
  • A study from members of our program showed that a 10-day regimen of decitabine effectively treated acute myeloid leukemia patients with high-risk genetic mutations.
  • Our physicians have been involved in landmark studies investigating novel immunotherapies, including CAR-T cell therapy.
  • Leukemia researchers affiliated with our program have been awarded a prestigious SPORE (or Specialized Program of Research Excellence) grant from the National Cancer Institute. Siteman is one of only three institutions nationwide to hold a SPORE in leukemia.
  • Our lymphoma team is investigating the use of salvage therapy in lymphoma treatment and evaluating a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group protocol for central nervous system lymphoma.
  • Washington University is one of 16 members of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium. Myeloma researchers associated with our program are involved in a COMPASS study testing the use of genetic sequencing in the treatment of myeloma, as well as other studies examining immunotherapies for myeloma patients.