Pediatric Cancer Patient

World-Class Cellular Therapy Close to Home

Sometimes patients have disorders in which the bone marrow is replaced by abnormal or cancer cells, such as leukemia, or sometimes a patient’s own bone marrow cells are unable to grow, divide and function normally. When this occurs a stem cell transplant may be helpful and curative. Stem cell transplantation means new bone marrow “stem cells” are given to replace the abnormal and/or cancer cells. Patients at AdventHealth for Children are first given treatment such as chemotherapy and/or radiation to destroy the abnormal cells, make “space” for the new stem cells, and prevent their own bodies from rejecting the new cells.

To request an appointment, please call Call407-303-1300.

A Little Girl with Glasses is Carried by Her Physician Outside.

What is Cellular Therapy?

Cellular therapy is a name for all treatments that use a body’s own immune cells to treat disease. Examples of cellular therapy include stem cell transplants (blood and marrow transplants) and immune cell therapy (example: CAR-T cells).
Father holding son

What is a Blood and Marrow Transplant?

Also known as stem cell transplant, a blood and marrow transplant is used as a curative treatment option for a variety of diseases in which the bone marrow cells are unable to grow and function normally. Stem cells (blood-forming cells) are immature cells housed in your bone marrow (the spongy tissue inside certain types of bones). Once the stem cells mature, they leave the bone marrow and become your blood and immune system. A transplant replaces unhealthy stem cells with healthy cells.

Common Diseases We Treat

Our expert providers have experience with many different diseases and conditions that may affect children, with some of the more common ones including:

  • Blood Cancers such as Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  • Childhood Cancers such as Lymphoma, Neuroblastoma and Brain tumors
  • Bone Marrow Failure including Aplastic Anemia, Fanconi and Diamond Blackfan
  • Blood disorders such as Sickle cell disease and Thalassemia
  • Various Immunodeficiencies

If your child has received a diagnosis of any of these conditions, our team is here to help guide you through the treatment process and answer any questions you may have.

Types of Transplants

There are many types of transplants involved blood and bone marrow, and it's important to understand the difference. We are here to guide you so you can understand the best care path for your child.

Autologous: This type of transplant uses your own stem cells. It is most commonly used to treat solid tumors, such as lymphoma, neuroblastoma, and brain tumors. The stem cells are collected ahead of time and safely stored in our specialized lab until they are needed. The goal of this therapy is to give high doses of chemotherapy to provide a better chance of cure. Following the high-dosed transplant chemotherapy, the saved stem cells are given back to the patient through a specialized IV to help blood counts safely recover.

Allogeneic: This type of transplant uses healthy stem cells donated by someone other than the patient. An allogeneic transplant is commonly used to treat blood cancers and other diseases involving the bone marrow. After chemotherapy and possibly radiation therapy, the healthy donated stem cells are given through a specialized IV to replace the poorly functioning or diseased stem cells.

There are 3 main categories of allogeneic transplants:

  1. Matched related donor: stem cells donated from a fully matched family member, typically a sibling that shares the same two biological parents. A full sibling has a 25% chance of being a complete match.
  2. Haploidentical donor: stem cells donated from a family member that is partially or half matched, which is typically a parent or sibling. The two biological parents are always a haploidentical match for the patient. Siblings that share one or both parents could be a haploidentical match for the patient as well
  3. Unrelated donor: stem cells donated from an anonymous donor, who is identified through an international registry. In the United States, donors are selected through the National Marrow Donor Program Registry, also known as Be The Match.

The stem cells can come from one of the following sources:

  • Bone marrow, which is the spongy tissue inside hip bones
  • Peripheral blood stem cells, which are in the circulating blood in your body
  • Umbilical cord blood, which comes from the placenta of a healthy newborn baby

Our expert transplant physicians will determine the type of transplant, the donor source, and the timing of the transplant so you can rest assured that your child is in good hands.

Marelyn Salgado hugs her twin sons, Aaron and Ryan, near AdventHealth for Children.

Brothers Get a Second Chance at Life

Twins, Aaron and Ryan, had been in and out of the ICU, and both had come close to losing their lives to complications of sickle cell disease. The boys underwent chemotherapy and were given the lifesaving option of a bone marrow transplant with stem cells donated by their mother. “I was scared not to see them grow. I feared losing them and now I can think about their future.“ Both boys are happy, healthy and considered cured thanks to Dr. Kelly and team.
A Woman Hold Her Daughter in the Gift Shop of The Amway Center

Our Unique Approach

Here at AdventHealth for Children, we do not believe in a one-size fits all approach for our patients. Each child and their situation is unique and our highly-specialized team will use the latest research, advanced technology and expertise to develop a treatment plan tailored to provide each child with the best chance of cure.

AdventHealth for Children Pediatric Cellular Therapy

For more information, contact us at Call407-303-1300.