Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplant (BMT)

Blood & Marrow Transplant Program Highlights

Our Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit is a twenty-eight-bed unit that is integrated into the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit (Seven South) of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Our outpatient clinic is located in the Outpatient Care Center directly across the street from the Hospital and includes a separate registration area for patients with weakened immune systems. Blood work can be done in the outpatient clinic, and diagnostic imaging services are available across the street in the Hospital.

All services and facilities at Johns Hopkins All Children’s are dedicated exclusively to pediatric patients. Your child’s caregivers are professionals who understand the unique physical and emotional needs of children at each stage of growth and development.

Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay

Two separate Ronald McDonald Houses on the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital campus are both located within easy walking distance of the Hospital. Together they comprise the largest Ronald McDonald House serving a single medical facility. Families from outside Pinellas County stay at the Ronald McDonald House during a child’s transplant admission. Patients can also stay at the House before and after their transplant admission when daily—or nearly daily—outpatient visits may be needed.

HOPE Clinic:  Helping Our Patients Excel

Our transplant team understands the importance of long-term side effects, how to monitor them, and how to find them early. Now that stem cell transplantation can be used to treat cancers, hematologic and metabolic diseases as well immune problems, we continue to learn more about the long-term care of transplant patients. We are active in ongoing research in ways to improve supportive care during and after the transplant procedure to provide the best quality of life possible for our patients. At Johns Hopkins All Children’s, our HOPE Clinic is dedicated to improving the lives of survivors and their families. We understand that the transplant is only the beginning.

We are committed to our patients and will follow them for many years after the transplant is “done.” We also work very closely with a patient’s pediatrician or primary care physician to help them understand our patient’s special health care needs. Information on immunizations, medications and signs of possible long-term effects are part of the concerns we share with your child’s physicians.

Clinical Trials

Patients who receive a blood or marrow transplant at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital may be asked to participate in a clinical trial.  A clinical trial is a research study that is designed to help determine the best treatment for a patient with a given disease.  These studies try to answer scientific questions and find better ways to treat a disease or complications of the transplant treatment. These clinical trials are sponsored by doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and the Moffitt Cancer Center. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Blood & Marrow Transplant Program has partnered with the adult transplant program at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.  The transplant team meets together each week and shares resources.  Additional clinical trials are sponsored by the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium and the Children’s Oncology Group.

A clinical trial outlines a specific treatment plan.  The trial may include specific chemotherapy drugs or supportive care therapies such as medicines to prevent nausea and vomiting, infections or other complications of transplantation.  This treatment plan is used as a “road map” to guide the care of the transplant patient. Research is carried out according to strict scientific and ethical principles to protect the patient and produce sound results.

Each clinical trial has a protocol that explains how it will work.  Each protocol must be approved by the organization that sponsors the study (such as the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at each hospital.  The IRB consists of health care professionals, consumers and clergy who work together the protocols to assure that the research will not expose patients to excessive or unethical risks.

Cancer clinical trials include research at three different phases.  Each phase answers different questions about a new treatment.

  1. Phase I trials: Determine how much of a new drug or treatment can be safely given to a human.  A small number of patients are given increasing doses of the drug or treatment and carefully monitored for side effects.
  2. Phase II trials: Determine whether the new treatment has an anticancer effect against a specific tumor.  A small number of patients participate because of the risks and unknown benefits involved.
  3. Phase III trials: Compare the results of people taking the new treatment with results of people taking the standard treatment.  A study will move to phase III testing after a treatment shows promise in Phases I and II.  Phase III trials may include hundreds of people.
Only you as the patient or the child’s parent can decide if participating in a clinical trial is right for you.   If you decide to participate in one of these studies, you will be asked to sign an informed consent document.  This document provides detailed information on the treatment that will be given and the potential risks and benefits of that treatment.