CareTalk: Blog for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Get insights and inspiration from Nemours’ experts in Hematology/Oncology.
Through the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD), our pediatric blood and bone marrow transplant specialists offer families the hope of a potential cure for a wide range of diseases, including cancers (like leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors), blood disorders, immune system diseases, and many inherited genetic diseases and bone marrow failure syndromes.
A blood and bone marrow transplant replaces diseased or damaged cells
in children whose normal blood cells either aren’t working correctly or have been crowded out by abnormal cells. These damaged or diseased cells are immature cells that can develop into healthy blood cells in children after a transplant.
Phone: (904) 697-3600
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When your child is diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder and needs treatment or a blood or marrow transplant, your immediate concern is getting the best possible care. At Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, we understand your concerns and we can help. Our board-certified pediatric specialists have years of experience and advanced training in helping children with blood and bone marrow disorders.
Some of the conditions we commonly treat with a blood or bone marrow transplant (also called a BBMT, BMT, or stem cell transplant) include, but are not limited to:
Our program is one of 14 institutions in the U.S. that perform autologous and allogeneic transplants to have been recognized and accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapies (FACT) for more than 10 years. Autologous transplants use your child's own cells, while allogeneic transplants use cells donated by a parent, sibling, or an unrelated donor.
Also, Nemours is recognized by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) as an affiliated center for matched unrelated donor transplants.
The Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program of Mayo Clinic, Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital is a unique collaboration with:
Children who need a BBMT must have “conditioning therapy” – chemotherapy or radiation – to destroy abnormal cells and make room for new healthy cells. However, during conditioning some of your child’s healthy cells will be damaged. That’s why your child is given healthy stem cells through a transplant – to help your child’s body to recover from chemotherapy and/or radiation. New, healthy cells start building about a week later.
Before your child’s transplant, we’ll do a complete medical history and physical examination to determine your child’s condition, appropriateness of the transplant, and availability of a matching donor. Then we’ll design a treatment plan especially for your child.
Your child’s transplant takes place at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, but before the transplant, your child will receive a few days of “conditioning therapy.” On the day of your child’s transplant, the blood, marrow, or cord blood is given through an intravenous (IV) line while your child watches TV, plays games, creates art, or works with child life specialists.
Your child will remain in the hospital until the new cells that were just infused through the IV have created enough healthy cells on their own. During this time, we’ll monitor your child closely, taking protective measures to reduce the risk of infection during this recovery time.
After your child is discharged from the hospital, it’s important to make sure your child is seen by our specialists for frequent follow-up visits. Many of the children and families we care for who live more than 30 minutes from Nemours typically stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville. This allows you to have easy access to Nemours and a home away from home until your child’s transplant doctor feels your child is ready to go home again and be seen by your usual primary care doctor.
Also, during your child’s hospital stay, our transplant coordinator will meet with you and your child for post-transplant education to ensure your child’s successful recovery. You and your child will receive a detailed educational packet with information including:
We may know how to treat your child’s condition, but no one knows your child better than you. That’s why we want you to be an active participant in the decision-making process for your child’s treatment. We’ll explain every step in easily understandable terms, present all options including alternative methods, and invite your input.
Whatever you’re facing, know that at Nemours we do whatever it takes to give your child the very best, most compassionate treatment possible. We treat every child as we would our own — your child, our promise.