In a significant programmatic step forward, the UC Cancer Institute has launched an adult bone marrow transplant service
as a new component of its hematologic malignancies (blood cancers) program.
Led by interim director Frank Smith, MD, the program is a collaborative effort of UC Health and the UC College of Medicine. Inpatient care will take place at University Hospital and outpatient care at the Barrett Center.
"We are building the foundation of an academically focused, world-class transplantation program,” says George Atweh, MD, director of the UC Cancer Institute and head of the division of hematology oncology at the College of Medicine. "We have a great team assembled, excellent clinical facilities and a commitment to conducting the clinical research that will result in better treatments for blood cancers.”
UC is currently recruiting a permanent director for the program and two additional medical oncologists who specialize in treating blood diseases.
The UC bone marrow transplant service and hematologic malignancies program will bring innovative treatment options to the Greater Cincinnati area through clinical trials.
"Bone marrow transplant is required for the treatment of many blood diseases. We now have the team and infrastructure to offer this critically important service to cancer patients in the Tristate area. It is also our mission to find ways to use bone marrow transplant most effectively,” says Smith, Marjory J. Johnson Endowed Chair and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the College of Medicine.
To accommodate the inpatient service, University Hospital has created a dedicated unit within the critical care pavilion designed to reduce infection risk. The unit includes individualized HEPA-filtered, positive pressure rooms that maintain an air flow out of the room, reducing the likelihood of contaminants reaching the patient. Additional space with the same infection-control measures is available in the intensive care unit for patients who need extra attention post-procedure.
About Bone Marrow Transplant
Treatment with bone marrow transplant involves collecting stem cells—which are produced in the bone marrow—either from the cancer patient or a donor. These stem cells are then infused back into the patient after high dose chemotherapy cancer treatment is complete to help restore bone marrow’s ability to produce red and white blood cells that fight off infection.
Stem cells are collected, stored and prepared for
transplantation by experts at the Hoxworth Blood Center.
Most often, blood is taken from the patient and
passed through a machine that separates stem cells from all the other blood components.
These stem cells are frozen for re-infusion once the patient’s treatment is
UC Health Bone Marrow Transplant Team
Frank Smith, MD, Interim Director
Tahir Latif, MD, Medical Oncologist
Neetu Radhakrishnan, MD, Medical Oncologist
Catherine Tierney, Nurse and BMT Program Coordinator
Katherine Hanger, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist
Tammy Ward, Dietitian
Jennifer Wuest, Social Worker
The UC Health bone marrow transplant team is part of the Cincinnati Cancer Center, a partnership of the UC College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC Health. By leveraging the individual cancer strengths of each institution, the CCC will be able to advance care faster, especially for those with complex disease. To learn more, call Laureen McCorkle at 513-558-9879.