Types of Bone Marrow Transplant & Cancer Immunotherapy

Although Bone Marrow Transplantation has shown to be a curative treatment option, it is not a procedure to be taken lightly. Our Department understands the gravity of such a decision and is equipped to provide assistance and care. Most people who need to undergo a bone marrow transplant are suffering from cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma, as well as metabolic and non-malignant hematological diseases, such as thalessemia major and co-genitive immunodeficiency. There are different types of bone marrow transplants. The type and severity of your disease determine what type of bone marrow transplant you will need.

Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplants
An allogeneic bone marrow transplant involves receiving donor bone marrow or peripheral stem cells. The bone marrow transplant donor is genetically matched and can come from an individual who is related or unrelated to you. Treatment is determined on an individual basis but can include high-doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, as well as new innovative protocols involving immunotherapy. This is followed by the infusion of your donor's bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells. The infusion of new marrow or peripheral stem cells during the allogeneic bone marrow transplant replaces the bone marrow that is destroyed by the pre-transplant chemotherapy and/or radiation. The hope is that the donor cells will, in the case of metabolic and non-malignant hematological diseases start producing non-defective blood cells, and in the case of malignant diseases to attack the cancerous cells that survived the initial chemo/radiotherapy generating a response called "graft versus leukemia"(GvL) disease.

Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant
For patients suffering from certain types of malignant and autoimmune diseases, there is an option of performing an Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant. This involves collection of your own peripheral stem cells, followed by high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The treatment is completed by infusion of your previously collected and cyropreserved peripheral blood stem cells and/or bone marrow with the hope that the infused cells will re-create healthy bone marrow and blood cells.

Cancer Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that utilizes the body's own immune system in fighting cancer. The therapy mainly consists of stimulating the immune system in order to help it accomplish its jobs more effectively. This type of treatment uses: different kinds of specific antibodies against cancerous cells; cytokines responsible for immuno-modulation; and infusion with activated immune cells, either from your own cells or cells from unrelated, healthy donors.

Each year, the team embarks on newly sponsored research protocols and international clinical trials, as well as our own authored protocols. Our reputation for developing break-through treatments and the ability to quickly institute these into clinical practice allows us to offer innovative and experimental treatments for refractory Metastatic malignancies.