If your child has been diagnosed with blood cancer, a bone marrow transplant (BMT) could be lifesaving. Advances in BMT have dramatically increased survival rates for childhood blood and bone marrow cancers. Our dedicated pediatric team will assess your child’s health and discuss the benefits and risks of a potential bone marrow transplant.
UCLA Health’s Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapies Program has been performing pediatric bone marrow transplants since our program began in 1973. We continue to use the most advanced treatments available to maximize your child’s chance for success.
A bone marrow transplant is a way to eliminate blood cancer and regenerate healthy cells. The procedure kills off cancerous cells and infuses the body with new, healthy ones.
Many children can recover from cancer. BMT can give hope of a successful outcome for children with conditions such as:
The time leading up to your child’s BMT may take weeks or even months. During this period, your child’s transplant team will work to find a donor who is the best match for your child. Once we identify a donor, the transplant process can begin.
Your child will be admitted to the hospital to prepare for the transplant. This preparation will include what’s called conditioning treatment.
Conditioning usually includes several rounds of chemotherapy, full-body radiation or both to kill off the cancerous cells. Find out more about preparing for your child’s bone marrow transplant.
After the conditioning treatment, your child will be ready for BMT. The procedure itself involves transferring healthy stem cells into your child’s body. We deliver the cells through a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) that goes into a blood vessel in your child’s chest.
The infusion may take several hours. Your child may be awake or partially sedated during the procedure. Doctors will closely monitor your child throughout the infusion for side effects such as fever, chills, hives or chest pain.
If the transplant is successful, your child’s body will start producing new stem cells and regenerate a new immune system. During this recovery phase, your child may need to be isolated to prevent contact with any germs that could cause infection.
We have many resources available to help your child cope throughout the process. Find out more about recovery from bone marrow transplant.
When you choose UCLA Health for your child’s treatment for leukemia or other blood cancer, you place your trust in one of the country’s most expert teams. Our Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapies Program performs more than 30 of these complex procedures for pediatric patients each year.
That high patient volume means that our experts have the knowledge and experience you want for your child. Other considerations that set our program apart include:
To make an appointment with our Pediatric Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapies Program, please call 310-825-6708.