Physicians in the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin use blood and marrow transplants to treat diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, and testicular cancer. BMT can also be an option for non-malignant disorders like aplastic anemia, amyloidosis and various immune deficiency disorders. In the BMT Program, we offer patients the complete range of transplant therapies, including experimental techniques available through clinical trials.
Autologous TransplantsBlood and marrow transplants rebuild the immune system after high-dose chemotherapy. A transplant of the patient’s own cells (or cells from an identical twin) is called an autologous transplant. Because autologous transplants do not cause an immune reaction, they are generally safer than other transplant therapies. In the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin BMT Program, doctors work closely with patients and their families to select the best therapy option.
BMT therapy can also be performed with donated blood and marrow cells (an allogeneic transplant). Donated cells can cause an immune reaction. While this reaction carries a number of risks, it can also have a powerful anti-cancer effect. For this reason, donor transplantation is the therapy of choice for many patients. The Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin BMT Program is a recognized pioneer in allogeneic transplant techniques. We perform not only matched-relative transplants, but also unrelated donor and mismatched donor transplants.
Cord Blood Transplants
Umbilical cord blood transplant is a potential treatment option for patients who do not have a matched-relative donor and cannot find a suitable unrelated donor. The Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin BMT Program offers cord blood transplant in cooperation with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
“Mini-Transplants”Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin have the only center in the region that performs non-myeloablative transplants, more commonly known as a “mini-transplants.” Mini-transplants rely exclusively on immune reactions to fight cancer — with mild initial chemotherapy or radiation. While mini-transplants still carry real risks, the lighter initial therapy can provide a better treatment choice for some patients, such as those who are elderly.
All transplant procedures take place in our special BMT unit. Here, patients have access to a complete team of physicians and support staff who focus exclusively on blood and marrow transplants. In addition to providing top medical care, the team helps patients remain emotionally comfortable and stay as physically active as possible. Our caregivers strive to make sure patients and family members always understand what is happening. The BMT unit also contains an outpatient area staffed by specially trained nurses and physician assistants.
An important part of the BMT process is preparing cells for transplant. Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin have two labs dedicated to the BMT Program. Our Cell Processing Laboratory readies blood and marrow products by removing cells that could cause problems for patients. The Lymphocyte Propagation Laboratory prepares cells that can be used after the transplant to prevent or cure viral infections.