Stem Cell Transplant Program

Akron Children's Stem Cell Transplant Program provides care coordination for patients and families during all phases of the transplant process. Stem cell transplantation is an intensive treatment used for some forms of cancer and other blood-related diseases. Read More...

Kuerbitz Steven
Steven Kuerbitz, MD
Director, Divisional Research and Stem Cell Transplantation

Fargo John
John Fargo, DO
Director, Divisional Quality Improvement Director, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center Pediatric hematologist/oncologist

Gerak Laura
Laura Gerak, PhD

Savelli Stephanie
Stephanie Savelli, MD
Director, Cancer Survivorship Program, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program

Culbertson Courtney
Courtney Culbertson, MSN, CPNP-AC
Solid Tumor Program Coordinator Pediatric nurse practitioner

Stratton Ann
Ann Stratton, MSN, PNP, CPHON
Lead Hematology/Oncology Advance Practice Provider Pediatric hematology-oncology nurse practitioner

Conditions We Treat

Conditions we treat
Here are some of the conditions treated in this department. Select a condition to get more information and resources: Myelodsyplasia.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?
  • Akron Children's Hospital is 1 of 4 hospitals in Ohio that offers allogeneic stem cell transplants.
  • Akron Children's has been performing autologous stem cell transplants since 1995.


Meet Our Patients



Stem Cell Transplant Program - Overview

Stem cell transplantation is an intensive treatment used for some forms of cancer and other blood-related diseases.

Stem cell transplants restore the hematopoietic or blood-forming cells that have been destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation. Hematopoietic stem cells are found in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood.

Akron Children's performs autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplants.

A patient receives his own stem cells during an autologous transplant. This procedure works well for certain types of cancer, like Hodgkin's disease, but is not an option with a cancer like leukemia, where the malignancy involves the blood cells.

Allogeneic stem cell transplants are used for patients with several types of acute and chronic leukemia, as well as inherited immune system disorders and bone marrow failure disorders such as aplastic anemia. (Aplastic anemia occurs when the bone marrow produces too few of all types of blood cells.)

For our allogeneic transplant program, the stem cells come from a match-related donor.

Once a match has been determined, patients undergo a comprehensive pre-transplant evaluation, including lab work, radiology scans and organ function studies.

Donors undergo a medicine regimen to increase the number of stem cells released into the bloodstream by the bone marrow to prepare them for a process called apheresis. Apheresis is similar to dialysis in that the blood is removed from the donor, run through a machine that targets and collects stem cells, and then the rest of the blood is returned to the donor.


What To Expect

The actual stem cell transplant lasts about 20 minutes. Then, engraftment takes place over the following 2 to 3 weeks. This means the immature stem cells travel to the empty bone marrow spaces and begin to produce normal white and red blood cells and platelets.

During engraftment, there is an extreme risk of infection. That's why our Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders has HEPA-filtered air, which is where stem cell patients stay while they are admitted to the hospital.

Patients undergoing allogeneic transplants also are at risk for graft-versus-host disease, which occurs when the donor's immune cells attack specific organs of the host, such as the skin, liver or gastrointestinal tract.


Patient Family Resources

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Stem Cell Transplant Program
our locations

Akron Children's Hospital
Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders
214 W. Bowery Street
Akron , OH 44308
Phone: 330-543-8580
Fax: 330-543-3220
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