For most Washington families, selection of a BMT center is not an issue. Our state has only one pediatric BMT center, which also happens to be one of the most experienced BMT centers in the world. There are a total of two BMT programs in WA that perform unrelated transplants:
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA)
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), University of Washington medical Center (UWMC), and Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center (CHRMC) are the partners in the SCCA. BMTs for children up to age 21 are performed at CHRMC, while during the outpatient phase of the BMT, patients are seen at the SCCA facility and may get some care at CHRMC.
VA Puget Sound Health Care System Marrow Transplant Program
The Puget Sound Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Seattle runs the oldest of 3 VA BMT programs in the country. It is affiliated with the SCCA, and serves eligible veterans and certain active-duty military personnel. Eligible young adults are among those who undergo BMTs at the VAMC.
Directories of Transplant Centers
For those interested in researching centers that perform unrelated BMTs, there are online and print resources available. The data for each center is distinct, so those wanting to make side-by-side comparisons will need to create their own charts.
BMTInfoNet Transplant Center Search Form
Online directory of BNTInfonet consumer education organization. Searchable by location, type of BMT, disease, patient age group.
NMDP Transplant Center Directory
Biannual publication with data for each center in NMDP netowork, including procurement fees for all cell sources,, plus tips on questions to ask when selecting a center, and more.. Searchable by diagnosis, phyisician name, and center location. Available online , or print copy may be ordered at no charge.
Oncology Nursing Society Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Resource Directory
Complied by the ONS BMT Special Interest Group , contains detailed program data, for each center with staff contacts. Entreis are organized by state or country, with a downloadable page for each individual BMT center.
BMT Clinical Trials at National Research Centers
Some families may be interested in learning about the possibility for their child to receive a BMT at one of the national-level medical research centers located on the East Coast. This may be especially of interest to parents whose child has an especially rare disease or condition, or one that has not responded to standard treatments. It is very important to understand that BMT protocols offered by these centers are done to research potential new medicines and/or procedures. Once treatments show promise from laboratory research, carefully-done testing (called a clinical trial) in humans is needed before potential treatments can be approved for standard use. Therefore, research centers seek patients to volunteer for clinical trials. It should be noted that many pediatric cancer treatments today, including BMTs, are part of clinical trials, and may offer the most up-to-date treatment, according to the Children’s Oncology Group, the professional society for US pediatric oncologists. In addition, for parents seeking another option or help in making a decision about treatment options, the National Cancer Institute’s Ped-Onc Branch also offers a second-opinion service for patients nationwide.
Each clinical trial has specific requirements for participation, based on both medical and demographic criteria such as patient’s age. One difference about the trial protocols offered by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, unlike those offered at academic and/or community medical centers is that NIH and St. Jude’s do not charge patients for clinical trials, nor do they have residency or citizenship requirements. While parents can make inquires about trials for their child at these centers, the patient must be referred by a physician. Families will need to relocate to each center, and may need to pay their own way to come for an evaluation. The respective centers do offer lodging for patient families, although there may be limits on length of stay; some protocols may also offer some support for living expenses. However, families should be prepared to show proof of ability to cover family living expenses during the expected treatment period.
Parents interested in learning more about clinical trials at these national centers may contact the centers directly, and discuss the topic with their child’s oncologist.
National Clinical Trial Centers
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Clinical Trials Call Center
1-800-411-1222 (toll-free in US only)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
NCI Ped-Onc Branch
NCI Neuro-Oncology Branch
Main Line: (301) 402-6298
New Patient Line: (301) 594-6767 or toll-free 1- (866) 251-9686
Fax: (301) 480-2246
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Patient Recruitment for Studies Conducted by the NHLBI
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Physician’s patient referral line:
(866) 278-5833 (toll-free)
(901) 495-4011 (fax)