Stem cell transplant is a procedure in which doctors replace a patient’s bone marrow with blood stem cells. The stem cells then develop into healthy new bone marrow. This treatment is also known as a bone marrow transplant.
Bone marrow is a type of tissue that makes blood cells. Stem cell transplant helps when bone marrow has been damaged by disease or by cancer treatments.
Stem cell transplant is a treatment for several conditions, including leukemia and other cancers as well as congenital conditions. It can be an option for children who:
- Have cancers that are resistant to treatment or have spread (metastasized) throughout the body
- Need an enzyme their body cannot produce
- Have bone marrow cells that have failed
At Riley at IU Health, we offer many types of bone marrow transplant, including:
- Autologous. For this type of transplant the patient’s own stem cells are used, with cells collected and then placed back into the body.
- Allogeneic. For this type of transplant the stem cells of another person are used. The donor can be a relative or a nonrelative whose blood cells are a close match. The stem cells can come from peripheral (circulating) blood, bone marrow or umbilical cord blood.
Stem cell transplant can be a lifesaving treatment in some cases. Our expert team works with your family through every step of the process to ensure that your child receives the best possible care.
Our highly experienced team includes stem cell transplant doctors, nurse practitioners, a physician assistant, coordinators and nurses who work closely with families. We offer a number of reasons why doctors refer families to Riley at IU Health for their child’s stem cell transplant:
Cancer care at Riley at IU Health is nationally ranked by U.S.News & World Report. IU Health Blood and Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant and Immune Cell Therapy includes both an adult program located at IU Health Simon Cancer Center and a pediatric program located at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. We share one joint FACT accreditation, which ensures that we meet the highest standards in patient care and laboratory practices.
Riley at IU Health has also been named a Blue Distinction Center for transplants by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. This award is for programs that emphasize best practice care and achieve excellent outcomes. Our comprehensive care begins with a full evaluation to determine the right treatment plan for your child. The transplant process includes a hospital stay of several weeks as well as regular follow-up visits to our outpatient clinic.
Our program is part of the Hematology/Oncology Section of the Department of Pediatrics within the Indiana University School of Medicine, where our doctors hold faculty positions. In addition to providing excellent clinical care, our physicians conduct research in a variety of areas to find ways to make stem cell transplants safer and more effective.
We also help educate the next generation of specialists through our Hematology/Oncology Fellowship. This three-year program trains doctors to become excellent clinical providers, academic investigators and teachers in the field of pediatric hematology/oncology.
Conditions & Services
Our pediatric specialists provide patient- and family-centered care for most related conditions. The links below provide more specific information about some, but not all, of the conditions that we treat.
Our highly skilled doctors are experienced in performing pediatric stem cell transplants of every type.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
Program Forms & Resources
Program Forms & Resources
The Stem Cell Transplant Program at Riley at IU Health provides the following forms for parents, healthcare providers and personnel. We have also curated relevant resources from other websites and provided links with brief descriptions of the information that is available.
This guide provides important information about how to protect your child's health after a stem cell transplant.
This is the Spanish language version of the guide to protecting your child's health after a stem cell transplant.
Learn the proper guidelines for preparing and eating food while your child is in isolation from crowds after a stem cell transplant.
This welcome packet is for new patients of the Stem Cell Transplant Program and their families.
Learn what to expect before your child's stem cell transplant.
This guide explains the bone marrow harvest process.
Read this for tips on how to manage financial and insurance issues.
This is a complete guide to your child's post-transplant care.
Find contact information for the Stem Cell Transplant Program team here.
A quick checklist for preparing your home after a Transplant.
This is the Spanish language version of the checklist for preparing your home after a Transplant.
A quick overview of the Stem Cell Transplant Program.
This is the Spanish language version of the Stem Cell Transplant Program.
We provide multispecialty care for a number of conditions. Below are links to our related departments.
Jacob Parry nearly died of leukemia, but the selfless gift of a stranger restored his health. Over the weekend, he met his superhero at a baseball game.Continue reading
Elliot Preddie, 12, used to undergo monthly blood transfusions to treat his painful disease. Now he can look forward to a more active, healthy life, thanks to his cousin’s gift of a transplant.Continue reading
For Health Professionals
We see children referred by physicians both within IU Health and from other hospitals. We work closely with referring physicians during the treatment of each patient to ensure the highest level of patient care. In addition to providing excellent clinical care, our physicians conduct research to make stem cell transplants safer and more effective.
Refer A Patient
Riley at IU Health works with referring physicians in Indiana and beyond.Refer A Patient
Visit the Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research at Indiana University School of Medicine for information about the latest research in the field of cancer and blood diseases.
We work with the Indiana University School of Medicine to provide upcoming generations of pediatric hematology/oncology specialists with education, training and clinical experience.