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Robert Collins, M.D. Answers Questions On Leukemia and Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Robert Collins, M.D. Answers Questions On: Leukemia and Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Is it hard for leukemia patients to find a bone marrow transplant donor?

A common misconception is that patients with leukemia and other hematologic malignancies who need a bone marrow transplant might not be able to find a donor.

The Be The Match Registry and other registries worldwide, which contain more than 20.5 million donors, enable many patients without eligible donors in their families to get a transplant.

Haploidentical transplantation and the use of cord blood also allow us to offer bone marrow transplantation to many more people. So nowadays, most patients who need a bone marrow transplant will be able to find a donor.

Another misconception is that bone marrow transplantation is limited to younger patients. Not true; we’re now able to perform the procedure in eligible patients up into their early 70s.

What is adoptive immunotherapy?

Adoptive immunotherapy is purposely manipulating the transplant donor’s immune system so that it attacks the patient’s cancer cells.

It’s a very powerful tool in treating hematologic malignancies such as leukemia, and successfully managing it requires a lot of knowledge and experience.

Why should patients choose UT Southwestern Medical Center for bone marrow transplantation (BMT)?

Our Bone Marrow Transplant Program ranks very highly in a number of objective measures. Our one-year survival rate, for example, is the highest in the region.

We also had the country’s lowest mortality rate in 2012 for BMT patients among University Health System Consortium members. And UT Southwestern’s Press Ganey performance scores, indicating patient satisfaction, are always among the top in the nation.

We take a truly multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach to patient care and deliver that care with compassion. Our patients tell us all the time that they know they’re loved by our team and how much that means to them.

Our active clinical research program is another reason patients come to UT Southwestern. This program, along with our close ties to basic scientists here, allows us to bring the absolute latest therapies to our patients.

Another thing that distinguishes us is our outstanding hematopathology group. There are literally dozens of types of leukemia and lymphoma – including many rare ones – and getting the right diagnosis takes advanced technology and a lot of expertise.