SCCA's Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program achieves higher survival rates

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) was recently recognized for outperforming its anticipated one-year survival rate for allogeneic transplant patients. The new performance results were calculated by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and published in the 2014 Transplant Center-Specific Survival Report. The annual report is designed to provide potential stem cell transplant recipients, their families, and the public with comparative survival rates among transplant centers. This is the second consecutive year the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA has achieved higher than expected one-year survival rates, an accomplishment that only 12 other institutions have achieved.

Credited with pioneering the clinical use of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation more than 40 years ago, the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA has performed over 14,000 bone marrow transplants - more than any other institution in the world. Dr. E. Donnall Thomas' groundbreaking work in transplantation won the Nobel Prize in 1990 and many current SCCA and Fred Hutch transplant experts have trained alongside Dr. Thomas.

To arrive at its findings, CIBMTR independently examined the survival rates of 20,875 transplants performed to treat blood cancers at U.S. centers in the NMDP network between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012. During this three-year period, 757 allogeneic transplants were performed at SCCA.

Although centers are required to report their data, the process of comparing transplant centers is complex and must address a number of variables, such as cancer type and stage, patient's age, and preexisting medical issues. The intensive findings allow researchers to compare themselves to other centers, leading to improved outcomes. The report also provides patients and their families with valuable information necessary when evaluating where to undergo treatment.

"The information provided in the report is invaluable to patients faced with making difficult treatment decisions," explains Dr. Marco Mielcarek, medical director of the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Fred Hutch and SCCA. "While we are happy our patients' outcomes exceeded expectations over a three-year period, we are always working to further improve the transplantation process."

Allogenic transplants use stem cells from a donor who may or may not be related to the patient. Stem cell transplants, including bone marrow transplants, are used to treat a wide range of leukemias and lymphomas, as well as other diseases including severe aplastic anemia and sickle cell disease.

"These findings reflect our teams continued efforts to improve patients' outcomes by investigating every aspect of the transplant process," said Dr. Fred Appelbaum, Deputy Director at Fred Hutch. "I'm pleased that our transplant patients continue to have high survival rates, but there is still more work to do."

SCCA's success in helping patients survive a wide range of cancers continues to be recognized by National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) rankings. SCCA has ranked at the top of NCDB patient survival rankings since 2002.


Seattle Cancer Care Alliance


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