Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
Our Approach
City of Hope’s Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) program is one of the largest and most successful transplant centers in the world. As a pioneer in creating breakthrough treatments for all hematologic cancers and blood-related disorders, City of Hope’s Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) is a world leader in setting standards for stem cell transplantation and in improving long-term outcomes for both children and adults.
A Commitment to Care
Since City of Hope performed its first bone marrow transplant in 1976, more than 11,000 transplants have been completed for patients from virtually every state and around the world. City of Hope’s HCT program is dedicated to the traditional and newer uses of this procedure. Specialists at City of Hope lead the field of stem cell transplantation with excellent outcomes.Transplant patients at City of Hope have ranged  from younger than one to 79 years old.
Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) use stem cells (immature blood cells) as part of the treatment of a bone marrow disorder. HCT results in the replacement of a patient’s immune system with that of a healthy donor. City of Hope performs both allogeneic (donor) and autologous (from the patient) stem cell transplants.
City of Hope is renowned for developing innovative transplant regimens that have improved the cure rate for patients with:
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Other hematologic disorders
Long-term Follow-up Program
City of Hope recognizes the importance of maintaining contact with all transplant patients. Our transplant program established a formal Long-term Follow-up Program in 1998 that follows all patients who have received a transplant at City of Hope. The Long-term Follow-up Program helps researchers compile data on long-term outcomes to increase awareness of the kinds of problems, both physical and psychological, that some patients face after transplant, so patients can receive continuing advice, information and care.
A Commitment to Create
A major focus for City of Hope researchers has been creating ways to reduce the incidence of major transplant risks such as infection and relapse. They publish their results in prominent peer-reviewed medical journals.
Nonmyeloablative (Mini) Transplants
One of these innovative protocols, nonmyeloablative transplants, has allowed patients who could not tolerate the traditional pre-transplant regiments to become candidates for the procedure.
Originally, pre-transplant protocols required high-dose chemotherapy and/or high-dose whole-body irradiation. For elderly patients or patients with other diseases, these protocols were too demanding and often excluded them from transplants. In order to improve both the safety of transplantation and its applicability to a larger number of patients, City of Hope developed an approach in 1998 for a “mini” transplant. These transplants rely less on the heavy doses of chemotherapy and radiation and more on the antitumor effects of the graft itself (known as a graft-versus-tumor effect). This novel approach has allowed for transplants in patients who are older, including patients in their 70s, who would previously not have been eligible for a transplant. These patients, with conditions such as leukemia, myeloma, lymphoma and myelodysplasia, have been significantly helped – even cured – by mini transplants.
About the Program
City of Hope’s Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the gold standard of excellence for blood and bone marrow transplant programs in the United States.
The City of Hope Hematologic Neoplasia Program was awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to further its work in utilizing transplant and non-transplant approaches for the treatment of malignant lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. This SPORE is one of only three SPORE awards granted in the United States and builds upon the expertise in the transplant and cancer immunotherapy programs at City of Hope.
National Cancer Institute Project Grant
The City of Hope’s HCT Program has been continuously funded for nearly 30 years by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop innovative therapies for people battling leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers. The NCI grant supports continuing research aimed at improving the outcome for patients undergoing either autologous or allogeneic transplant for hematologic cancer. The grant also allows researchers at City of Hope to develop laboratory-based clinical studies to extend the boundaries of HCT into new areas. These studies include the development of therapies incorporating the emerging sciences of gene transfer, molecular biology, radioimmunotherapy, cellular immunotherapy and genetics into allogeneic and autologous transplant.
HCT Partnership
Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Center partners with City of Hope to provide stem cell transplantation services to Kaiser Permanente health plan members. Kaiser Permanente patients needing a transplant have their procedures performed at City of Hope. Kaiser Permanente members have full access to City of Hope’s treatment programs, including new therapeutic approaches designed to improve outcomes and cure rates. Physicians from the Kaiser Permanente bone marrow transplant medical group are members of the City of Hope HCT program and work side-by-side with City of Hope staff. These physicians are responsible for all Kaiser Permanente patients under one unified program of patient care.
“Celebration of Life” Bone Marrow Transplant / HCT Reunion
Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow / hematopoietic cell transplant recipients and their families to attend the “Celebration of Life” event on the Duarte campus. More than 6,500 people from all over the United States and overseas attend the event. The reunion is a joyous day for everyone in attendance — physicians, nurses and former patients — as they celebrate the victories they have attained in fighting cancer.