Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplant (BMT)

Conditions We Treat

Learn more about conditions we treat with blood and marrow transplants at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute.

Your child may need a blood or bone marrow transplant if they are diagnosed with cancer, a blood disorder, or born with congenital immunodeficiency syndromes or metabolic disease. 

Treatable Diseases

These diseases can be treated by blood or marrow stem transplants:

Malignant Disorders

  • Leukemias
  • Lymphomas
  • Brain tumors
  • Bone tumors
  • Soft tissue tumors

Hematologic Disorders and Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes

  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Severe aplastic anemia
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Diamond-Blackfan anemia
  • Sideroblastic anemia

Immunodeficiency Syndromes

  • Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome
  • Cartilage hair hypoplasia
  • Chronic granulomatous disease
  • Leukocyte adhesion defects

Inborn Errors of Metabolism

  • Hurler Syndrome
  • Hunter Syndrome
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Krabbe disease
  • Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome
  • Osteopetrosis

Types of Blood and Marrow Transplants

Advances in transplantation and the growth of donor registries have provided greater options in the source of stem cells we can use in transplantation. 

There are three kinds of transplants: 

Autologous Transplant: In this case, your child’s own stem cells are harvested through bone marrow or by a relatively simple procedure called leukopheresis.

Allogeneic Transplant: In an allogeneic transplant, your child receives stem cells from the bone marrow or circulating blood cells from a compatible donor, determined by Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) testing. A matched sibling donor is the ideal donor for an allogeneic transplant. Fortunately, most children who do not have an HLA matched donor are able to locate an unrelated donor through the National Donor Marrow Program.

Umbilical Cord Blood: Umbilical cord blood (known as cord blood) from an umbilical cord blood registry or from the birth of a sibling is the third possible source of stem cells for an allogeneic transplant. Cord blood is the blood that is left over in the placenta and umbilical cord that can be stored for later use in a stem cell transplant. The cord blood is kept frozen until needed, and is administered to a patient in the same manner as a blood transfusion.