News : 2016 : December

More than 600 Cancer Patients Treated at Sylvester’s Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, celebrated its 500th stem cell transplant. Now, the cancer center announced it has conducted more than 600 stem cell transplants, making it one of the largest transplant centers of its kind in the country. Success rates are very high and the Sylvester stem cell transplant team expects to treat nearly 200 patients in the current year.

“Stem cell transplants are among the most complex medical procedures conducted at cancer centers,” said Krishna V. Komanduri, M.D., director of Sylvester’s Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program.

“They require a high level of clinical infrastructure as well as professional expertise at every stage in order to maintain a high level of clinical care. Transplant physicians work closely with other cancer experts – who treat leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and other blood diseases – to decide the appropriateness and timing of a transplant.”

The program treats patients from 17 to 75 years old with various types of cancer and hematological diseases, including leukemia, multiple myeloma, various lymphomas, severe aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia, and myelofibrosis, among others. It operates a pre- and post-transplant outpatient clinic, as well as an inpatient unit at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Since its establishment at Sylvester in 2011, we have grown this program tremendously,” said Komanduri, who was lured to the cancer center in 2008 by the opportunity to transform Sylvester into one of the nation’s leading transplant centers. “In addition, we are achieving excellent outcomes in treating some of the most challenging cancer cases.”

In addition to autologous transplants where physicians use the patient’s own stem cells for treatment, the Sylvester team regularly performs allogeneic transplants using stem cells from matched relatives, or unrelated donors. Both types of stem cell transplants are typically performed after a cancer patient receives high doses of chemotherapy and, when needed, radiation therapy, killing the existing stem cells in the bone marrow. A successful stem cell transplant helps restore the bone marrow’s ability to grow healthy blood cells, and also helps eliminate residual cancer cells.

Looking ahead, Komanduri expects the Sylvester program to continue growing in volume and in clinical capabilities.

To refer a patient to Sylvester call 1-844-900-UMMD (8663) and for patient consults, questions and coordination of care call 1-844-500-SCCC (7222).