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Established in 1994, the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital Colorado offers the region's most experienced dedicated pediatric blood and marrow transplant and cellular therapy (BMT) program. We have performed more than 1,000 bone marrow transplants and in 2019 we are celebrating our Program's 25th Anniversary, making us one of the most experienced pediatric BMT programs in the country.
Our BMT Program has been accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) since 2001. This certification is based on patient volumes, qualified staff, appropriate facilities and having a comprehensive quality assurance program that meets current national FACT standards. The standards indicate that our transplant team has been consistently recognized through national peer review for high-quality patient care and laboratory performance for bone marrow transplant.
With providers who specialize only in pediatric bone marrow transplants and cellular therapy, your child is in good hands. Our program is also an approved transplant site of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the Pediatric BMT Consortium.
The International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, the NMDP and U.S. News and World Report recognize Children's Colorado as meeting the highest standards of 100-day and one-year post-BMT survival compared to other U.S. pediatric BMT programs. See our BMT survival rates.
Our pediatric specialists offer a range of cellular therapy options, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and virus-directed T cells. T cells are a type of white blood cell that develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help fight infection and may help fight cancer.
CAR-T cells: For this cellular therapy, our providers draw blood from a patient and collect their T cells. Next, using a non-contagious virus, we genetically engineer T cells to make CAR proteins on the T cell surface. These CAR-T cells are capable of recognizing certain cancer cells. The CAR-T cells are then infused back into the patient and attach to specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells. The CAR then triggers the T cells to kill the cancer cell.
Virus-directed T cells: After a bone marrow transplant, it takes a while for the new immune system to recognize and kill cells that are infected with certain viruses. Often, viruses from the herpes family, which are known to cause diseases such as mono, upper respiratory tract infections, cold sores and roseola, never fully go away after the first infection. Rather, the immune system keeps them at bay. When the immune system is low (or absent, as is the case after a bone marrow transplant), these viruses can cause large-scale infections. Similar to the development of CAR-T cells, we engineer T cells from the blood of the patient (or a donor) to produce a receptor protein that recognizes the virus-infected cells and kills them.
Research has shown that teens and young adults with cancer do better when treated on pediatric protocols and in a pediatric setting. Stem cell sources and therapy regimens often differ between adult and pediatric institutions and may affect outcomes. Additionally, pediatric oncologists and bone marrow transplant specialists are more experienced with managing any potential long-term complications after therapy.
Our team members are committed to providing excellent service to patients and providers through an efficient call-back and evaluation for urgent referrals. Streamlined communication occurs before, during and after transplantation. Get more information for healthcare professionals.
Our multidisciplinary BMT program includes:
Our program offers a full range of support services for patients and families, including:
Members of our team are actively involved in pediatric bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy research with the goal of improving outcomes in children. Our team performed its first cord blood transplant in 1996, early in the investigation of this now common stem cell source. Today, our ongoing research projects focus on optimizing the success of BMT for many pediatric disorders.
Read about Dr. Verneris' research on using immunity to cure cancer.
Hematology/Oncology - Pediatric , Pediatrics
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner