During a blood and marrow transplant (BMT), also referred to as a bone marrow transplant, your child will receive healthy stem cells to help restore bone marrow stem cells that are damaged, missing or not working. A BMT is a treatment that takes place over weeks and months; it is not a surgery. The transplant cells are given intravenously (through a vein) like a blood transfusion.
At the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, our BMT Program is one of the largest in the nation. But, your child is more than a number to our team. Your child deserves outstanding care designed just for him. In fact, we believe your child deserves the best care possible.
What conditions are treated with BMT?
A BMT can be used to treat many types of malignant (cancerous) diseases and nonmalignant (noncancerous) diseases, such as:
- Blood cancers: Leukemia and lymphoma
- Solid tumor cancers: Neuroblastoma and certain brain tumors
- Noncancerous blood and genetic disorders: Sickle cell disease, thalassemia, bone marrow failure (aplastic anemia, Fanconi anemia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, myelodysplastic syndromes), phagocyte disorders, histiocyte disorders, immune deficiency syndromes (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome), metabolic storage diseases (Hurler’s syndrome)
- Immune dysregulation and immunodeficiency: Complex, multisystem autoimmune disorders that arise from an underlying defect in immune regulatory pathways
What are the different types of BMT?
The type of BMT your child needs depends on the disease being treated and who will give your child the best blood or bone marrow to treat his illness. Your doctor will discuss all your options with you before making any decisions.
- An autologous transplant is when the patient donates their own blood or bone marrow stem cells. Blood or bone marrow is taken from your child and given back later after receiving very strong chemotherapy to treat a disease.
- An allogeneic transplant is when the blood or bone marrow is taken from another person and given to your child. The donor could be a sibling, a parent or an anonymous matching donor. Finding a matching donor may take time.