Children's Hospital Colorado

Bone Marrow Transplant Survival Rates in Children

A close-up view of an IV inserted into a baby's arm that's wearing lime green bandages Best Children's Hospital by US News Cancer 2020-1 Badge

What is the definition of bone marrow transplant survival rate?

The bone marrow transplant (BMT) 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 Transplant and Cellular Therapy 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 after transplant (post-transplant). These evaluations let us know where to put our efforts in improving overall transplant outcomes. This is all part of the work we do 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?


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 who have had transplants 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, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2016 using related and unrelated donors. It only included patients who underwent their first allogeneic transplant (from another donor) within this time period and who had at least 100 days of post-transplant follow-up. While CIBMTR compares our performance to international standards on a continual basis, this specific analysis was done only with centers in the United States.

What does this data mean?

Children's Colorado reported survival status data for 92 patients. The actual one-year survival rate of these patients was 84.8%. The predicted one-year survival range was from 72.9% to 88.4%. This means that the BMT Program at Children's Colorado had a very good one-year survival when compared to what is expected of a similar group of patients transplanted at other pediatric centers in the United States.

Every year since 2010, CIBMTR has conducted an analysis of each participating center’s allogeneic transplant survival rate compared to international standards. Over the nine 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 348 patients. These patients all received bone marrow transplants at Children’s Colorado between 2010 and 2017.

Our bone marrow transplant survival rates from 2010 to 2017

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 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.