Patient Care

Blood Cancers: Myeloma, Leukemia and Lymphoma

Advanced Diagnostics & Treatment

Our treatments are administered within the context of the most refined diagnostic tools in radiologic imaging (MRI, PET-CT) and in molecular genetics profiling (DNA micro-array, interphase FISH, PCR for residual disease). Treatments are tailored based on the individual patient’s comprehensive needs—medical, spiritual and social—in full partnership between the patient and the care team. 

  • Bone Marrow Transplantation

Bone marrow transplant—also known as a stem cell transplant—is often used to treat cancers that affect the blood and bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside the bones. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of blood cells in the body. The transplant procedure replaces damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.

Through a partnership with UC Health and Hoxworth Blood Center, the UC Cancer Institute offers two forms of bone marrow transplant:

  • Autologous bone marrow transplant: Stem cells are removed from the patient before receiving high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatment and stored in a freezer (cryopreservation). After high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatments are completed, stems cells are put back into the patient’s body to add to normal blood cells. This is called a "rescue" transplant.
  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplant: Stem cells are removed from another person. Special blood tests are done to determine if a donor is a good match. Donors unrelated to the patient can be found through national bone marrow registries.

The stem cell transplant is then given via through a central venous catheter (tube)—similar to receiving a blood transfusion. Stem cells travel through the blood stream to the bone marrow to begin the regenerative process.

Patients are given chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both prior to the bone marrow (stem cell) transplant. The goal is to destroy all the healthy bone marrow that remains to facilitate new growth of stem cells and allow new stem cells to grow in the bone marrow. Targeted medical therapies are also being investigated through clinical trials, offering patients who are not candidates for bone marrow transplant alternative options for achieving remission.

  • Stem Cell Collection

In full partnership with the Hoxworth Blood Center in Cincinnati, the UC Cancer Institute Hematologic Malignancies Program is able to offer stem cell collection through leukaphereisis as well as traditional bone marrow transplant harvesting surgery.

With leukapheresis, donors are given shots a series of shots to encourage stem cells to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream. Blood is then removed from the donor through an IV line in the vein. The part of the white blood cells containing stem cells is separated mechanically before the rest of the blood is returned to the donor.

Bone marrow harvesting via a minor surgical procedure is also available for stem cell collection. Bone marrow is removed from the back of both hip bones.