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Bone Marrow Transplant

The internationally recognized Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program, part of the Cancer Center at Westchester Medical Center, flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, also a WMCHealth member, has saved lives and improved quality of life for thousands of patients. Its highly skilled, multidisciplinary team is dedicated to the therapeutic use of bone marrow, peripheral blood, cord blood and cellular therapy to treat malignant, non-malignant and blood-related disorders.

Its pioneering research and care represent the gold standard of preventive, diagnostic, innovative and therapeutic strategies. In addition, access to clinical trials offers promising new treatments.

There are two types of transplants:

  • Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant (stem cells from the patient): To treat some diseases, a patient’s stem cells are removed and then reinfused into the body after receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation.
  • Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant (stem cells from a donor): For some diseases, patients cannot use their own stem cells for a transplant. They must use cells from a donor, either related or unrelated. If a patient does not have a relative available who is a match, doctors can search international donor registries for an unrelated donor who provides a match.

Haploidentical transplants, also known as half-matched transplants, are sometimes used to widen the donor pool and make it easier to find a donor. Cord blood transplants are possible if patients chose to donate their cord blood at the time of their baby’s birth. This cord blood is frozen and can be used for bone marrow transplants.

Each day, Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program gains expertise, builds resources and achieves breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer and blood disease. From bone marrow transplantation to stem cell and gene therapy, its specialized team blazes trails to pinpoint the cause, course of personalized treatment, and cure. The program remains the oldest and most active in the Hudson Valley and its trusted care has been accredited by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).

The Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program is one of only a few approved in New York State to perform donor bone-marrow transplants for patients with lymphoblastic or myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other blood disorders. It also is one of a select group of centers in the nation that performs on-site DNA matching of potential donors. Providing this sophisticated analysis on site speeds matches of donors and patients.

Stem cells carry the astonishing potential to develop into different cell types, creating an internal repair network that replenishes cells without limit. For a baby or child with cancer or blood disease, an influx of healthy stem cells can restore the ability to produce healthy blood and immune cells, setting the patient on a course toward wellness.

In some cases, bone marrow must be replaced because it has been destroyed by high-dose chemotherapy; in other cases, the bone marrow is diseased. Stem cell bone marrow is responsible for the manufacture of red blood cells that carry oxygen, the white blood cells that fight infection and platelets that help blood clot.

Social workers play a vital, unique role in assisting patients and their families during the diagnostic and treatment period and beyond. This affords the patient and family a consistent, welcoming support system.

The Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program focuses on many diseases. These include:

Malignant Diseases

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (burkitt, large cell, lymphoblastic, anaplastic)
  • Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Malignant Diseases

  • Bone Marrow Failure syndromes
  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • Immunodeficiencies (SCID, Wiskott-Aldrich, Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
  • Metabolic
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Myelofibrosis
  • Sickle Cell Disease

The Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital offers specialized care using a variety of therapies. This trusted program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, the Children’s Oncology Group and the National Marrow Donor Program. It also is a member of the Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplantation Consortium, which supports research and education to improve the availability, safety and efficiency of hematopoietic cell transplantation and other cellular therapies for children and adolescents. This helps ensure the most cutting-edge treatment for patients.

Our programs and expert services include:

  • The Cord Blood Diseases & Regenerative Therapy Program
  • The Cord Blood Transplantation Program
  • The Unrelated Adult Donor Stem Cell Program
  • The Haploidentical Stem Cell Program
  • Extracorporeal photopheresis, a therapy that involves collecting disease-fighting cells from blood. These cells are exposed to a photosensitizing agent and then are treated with ultraviolet radiation before being reinfused into the body.
  • On-site leukopheresis for peripheral stem-cell collection and bone marrow stem cell harvesting
  • T-cell Depletion and Stem Cell Selection Program
  • Multidisciplinary programs
  • Long-Term Survivors Program
  • Ten HEPA filtered and positive pressure inpatient rooms, ensuring optimum environments for patients
  • Personalized and customized blood, marrow and cellular therapies.

Westchester Medical Center/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital also is the lead institution for research organizations such as the High-Risk Leukemia Consortium, the Lymphoma Cell Therapy Consortium, the Sickle Cell Transplantation Consortium and the Sarcoma Cell Therapy Consortium.

Adult Care

A cancer diagnosis can be shocking and distressing for patients and their families. The Cancer Center at Westchester Medical Center is here to support you and your family through this journey. We offer patients and families a comprehensive variety of resources that includes assistance navigating and securing services, social-work expertise, nutritional education and support groups.

Navigational services are offered to our breast and lung-cancer patients. Experienced, compassionate experts guide patients and caregivers from the very beginning of their cancer journey to ensure timely, appropriate access to care. They collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to coordinate screenings, diagnosis, treatment, referrals and other resources -- and are at your side to ensure a dignified patient experience throughout all phases of care. In addition, navigators support patients with plain-talk explanations and educational information to help them make informed decisions regarding treatment.

Social worker: Essential Assistance Tailored to Your Needs

A social worker specializing in cancer support assists patients and their families by providing emotional, psychosocial and social counseling, as well as information on practical issues, finances, transportation and support programs.

Two monthly support groups are available to patients:

  • The Living with Cancer Support Group, a safe place to inspire hope, share experiences, receive support and learn coping skills
  • The Survivorship Support Group, a key source of strength that improves quality of life.

These groups are represented by patients with different types of cancer, including our bone marrow transplant survivors. Additional support groups are being planned for women facing breast or ovarian cancer. These support groups will accommodate English- and Spanish-speaking patients.

Cynthia Duncan, LMSW, Oncology Social Worker
Myrna Oliveras, Oncology Patient Navigator
Catherine Roimisher, NP, Lung and Breast Cancer Screening Navigator

For more information, please call 914.246.6600.

Registered Dietician: Protecting Health, Alleviating Symptoms

The registered dietician is available to provide information about specific nutritional needs during cancer treatment. He/she is here to answer your questions regarding weight loss or gain, poor appetite, taste changes, nausea, dry mouth, difficulties swallowing, diarrhea or constipation, etc. You will receive information, customized to your care, about vitamins, minerals and other natural health products.

For more information, please call 914.246.6600.

Survivorship Care

Upon completion of cancer treatment, every patient receives a survivorship care plan and information about helpful services. This includes a treatment summary, a detailed follow-up plan for medical, surgical or radiation treatment, what to expect in the long term and additional resources that inspire hope, how to best navigate the path ahead.

For more information, please call 914.246.6600.

Palliative Care and Patient Services and Resources

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with a serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The palliative medicine team at Westchester Medical Center works with your oncology team in the hospital to provide an extra layer of support and help manage symptoms and side effects from the illness or treatments. It is available at any stage of your illness.

Palliative care is often an essential part of your care, helping you remain in control of your life and care plan during your illness. Our goal is to improve quality of life for you and your family while receiving care at Westchester Medical Center.

For information, ask your Oncology team to make a referral when you are in the hospital or call 914.493.3112.

In addition, Westchester Medical Center offers vital, comforting support services to patients, families and visitors to ensure that each hospital stay is positive. Services include but are not limited to guest and special services, spiritual services and concierge and caregiver resources. Our compassionate team provides educational information, financial services, a helpful patient portal and more. To learn more click on “For Patients and Visitors” on the main tool bar above.”

The Caregiver Center provides vital, comforting support during times of need, stress and trauma for those who selflessly nurture others during medical crises. The Caregiver Center is a conduit to an array of services that are free. Teams also match caregivers to community resources ready to assist. They help determine the assistance needed, where to find it, and how to request and access it. The Caregiver Center, on Westchester Medical Center’s Main Concourse, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call 914.493.6800 for assistance or information.

Pediatric Care

WMCHealth provides a wealth of services designed to support pediatric patients and families during a stressful time. These helpful, and free, programs include:

  • Social Work Department
  • Support organizations
  • Support groups for teens and young adults
  • Resources for siblings
  • Resources for survivorship
  • Disease-specific resources
  • Financial-aid resources
  • Headwear and wigs
  • Camps
  • College financial aid.

Please CLICK HERE to go to Maria Fareri Children's Hospital for more information.

The Cancer Center at Westchester Medical Center
19 Bradhurst Avenue
Suite 2575 South
Hawthorne, NY 10532
914.246.6600

WMCHealth Brain and Spine Institute
19 Bradhurst Avenue
Suite 2900 South
Hawthorne, NY 10532
914.493.2363
914.493.2505 fax

Gynecologic Oncology Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery
19 Bradhurst Avenue
Suite 3090 North
Hawthorne, NY 10532
914.493.2181

Surgery and Surgical Oncology
19 Bradhurst Avenue
Suite 3050 North
Hawthorne, NY 10532
914.372.7196

Thoracic Surgery
Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
914.493.8793

Radiation Medicine
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
914.493.8561

The Children and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center
19 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY 10532
914.493.7997
914.594.2143 fax

MidHudson Regional Hospital
The Redl Center for Cancer Care

19 Baker Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845.483.5997

Physicians

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD, Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation;
Director, Childhood and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center

Allyson Flower, MD (Pediatrics)
Tauseef Ahmed (Adult)
Karen Seiter, MD (Adult)
Seah Lim, MD (Adult)
Delong Liu, MD (Adult)

Transplant Nurse Coordinators

Barbara Ehrenreich, RN, MSN, CPNP (Pediatrics)
Patricia Kretschmer, RN (Adult)
Patricia McHale, RN (Adult)
Meghan Sturhan, RN, MSN, CPNP-AC, CPHON (Pediatrics)