Children's Hospital Colorado
Center for cancer and blood disorders
Center for cancer and blood disorders

Bone Marrow Transplant Survival Rates in Children

What is the definition of bone marrow transplant survival rate?

The bone marrow transplant survival rate measure is defined as the percentage of patients who received blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cell transplants who have survived over the indicated period of time. The data is further broken down by the stem cell source: either from the patient (autologous) or from another donor (allogeneic). 

Why do we measure bone marrow transplant survival rates?

At the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at Children's Hospital Colorado, we measure bone marrow transplant success rates to better understand the effectiveness of treatments used to improve patient outcomes. A major part of these analyses is determining rates of recurrence of the diseases for which transplants were done and rates of severe complications post-transplant. These evaluations let us know where best to put our efforts in improving overall transplant outcomes. This is all part of our efforts to provide the best care for babies, kids and adolescents with cancer and nonmalignant blood diseases.

How does Children's Colorado compare to international bone marrow transplant success rates?


73 Patient families reported survival data at Children's Colorado
75.3% One-year survival of these patients after a bone marrow transplant
8 Years of our program meeting or exceeded international standards

To understand our pediatric bone marrow transplant program's performance versus international standards, we participate in the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) analysis of survival rates. CIBMTR matches our Children’s Colorado transplant patients to similar patients transplanted elsewhere around the world, considering key patient variables such as age, disease and donor type.

The most recent CIBMTR analysis was performed on transplants performed at Children’s Colorado from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015 using related and unrelated donors. It only included patients who underwent their first allogeneic transplant (from another donor) within these time periods and who had at least 100 days of post-transplant follow-up.

What does this data mean?

Children's Colorado reported survival status data for 73 patients. The actual one-year survival of these patients was 75.3%. The predicted one-year survival range was from 69.1% to 87.1%. This means that the BMT Program at Children's Colorado had very good one-year survival within the predicted range for a similar group of patients transplanted at other pediatric centers in the United States.

Annually since 2010, CIBMTR has conducted these analyses of each participating center’s allogeneic transplant survival versus international standards. Over the eight years of these analyses, our BMT Program has always met or exceeded international standards.

Below is a graph of the 100-day and one-year survival rates of 298 patients. These patients all received bone marrow transplants at Children’s Colorado between 2010 and 2016.

This is a bar graph that shows the BMT outcomes from 2010-2016 at Children's Hospital Colorado. The graph illustrates 100-day and one-year survival rates for overall, allogeneic and autologous transplants.

What conditions can be effectively treated by a bone marrow transplant?

How are we able to improve survival rates and other important transplant outcomes?

We have been able to improve BMT patient survival and other outcomes through participation in local, national and international clinical trials evaluating new approaches to pediatric BMT.

In addition, since 2000, our program has had a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) program that looks at performance on an ongoing basis. The BMT Quality Assurance Program at the Children’s Hospital Colorado/ University of Colorado School of Medicine operates in accordance with national guidelines established by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). The Pediatric BMT Program at Children’s Colorado has been FACT-approved continuously since 2001.

We have also made patient safety at Children’s Colorado a high-priority team effort by including all providers and caregivers, including patients and families.