06/11/2007

Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at WVU Marks 10 Year Milestone

MORGANTOWN, WV—  The Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Hematologic Malignancy Program at West Virginia University is celebrating its 10-year anniversary as a National Marrow Donor Program Transplant Center.

On June 8, 1997, the Program received its certificate of accreditation with the National Marrow Donor Program and WVU Hospitals became a participating NMDP Transplant Center.  The national program works with WVU to locate donor matches for patients without a sibling donor. Only 30 percent of patients in need of a transplant have matching donors in their families

A patient without a sibling donor is not without options at WVU’s BMT/HM Program.

“Our program has continued to expand the use of unrelated donors through the National Marrow Donor Program,” says Mike Craig, M.D., program director.  “We are working on an initiative to offer the option of cord blood cells as a source of transplantable cells for these patients as well.”

During its first year as a NMDP center, WVU Hospitals performed three matched unrelated donor transplants.  Sixty-nine patients have received unrelated donor transplants to date.  

 Staff members of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Hematologic Malignancy Program at West Virginia University celebrate its 10-year anniversary as a National Marrow Donor Program Transplant Center.

Overall, 648 patients have received transplants at WVU Hospitals. The Hematologic Malignancy Program has grown considerably as well, with more than 600 patients. Approximately 250 transplant and hematologic malignancy patients are seen in the WVU clinic each month.      

Keeping ahead or on pace with the latest developments in care has helped the BMT program build a world-class reputation.  Since its inception, the program has treated patients with a wide range of diagnoses, including lymphoma, acute and chronic leukemia, multiple myeloma, and aplastic anemia.  It is the only blood and marrow transplant program in West Virginia and is fully accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for autologous and allogeneic bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, including collection and laboratory processing.

Along with helping patients with unrelated donors, WVU is one of the few centers in the country to offer mini-transplants to patients unable to undergo the standard transplant due to their age or health conditions.

WVU offers a wide variety of non-transplant options for patients with malignancies arising from or involving the bone marrow and lymphatic system, including a novel therapy for patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and radioimmunotherapy, a promising new treatment for patients with certain types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The BMT/HM team includes basic science and clinical researchers who collaborate in translational cancer research aimed at finding potentially useful drugs and treatments.  New treatment options are also available through clinical research trials.

WVU’s program also offers daily care to patients in our intensive care, step-down unit located at Ruby Memorial Hospital, adjacent to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. The program is supported by dedicated clinical laboratories and an outpatient clinic within the Cancer Center.

- WVU -


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For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
bovinost@wvuh.com
sls:06-11-07

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