UVA Stem Cell Transplant Program treats patients with high-risk and life-threatening blood diseases. Our program has the highest level of accreditation, including Federation for Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT) and National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match registry approval. Based on our excellent outcome results, we are a Center of Excellence for many insurance companies.
How Does It Work?
Stem cells reside in both the spongy tissue inside bones and the peripheral blood. In patients with diseases like leukemia, stem cells malfunction and produce abnormal cells. In a stem cell / bone marrow transplant, stem cells are taken from healthy marrow or blood and given to a patient after chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. When a transplant is successful, the new stem cells produce healthy blood cells.
It may take several weeks for the donor stem cells in the bone marrow to begin to function fully. The new bone marrow cells will produce healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Stem cell transplantation may be done using:
- Stem cells that were taken from your own bone marrow or blood and stored
- Stem cells from a donor's bone marrow or blood
Types of Transplants
- Autologous stem cell transplant (uses cells from your own body, usually collected from the blood)
- Allogeneic or donor stem cell transplants (in 2018, almost everyone has a donor)
- Matched related donor, usually a brother or a sister
- Matched unrelated donor (there are over 25 million volunteer donors in the Be The Match registry)
- Umbilical cord blood (stem cells donated from a newborn baby that have been frozen)
- Haploidentical transplant, from a family member who is not a perfect match
Relatives of patients in need of stem cells should fill out the Prospective Donor Intake Form. Other potential donors should contact Be The Match for information on joining the Registry for stem cell donation.