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Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program

Back to Cancer and Blood Disorders

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Overview

When it comes to treating childhood cancer, we are recognized as one of the best among children's hospitals, As part of our mission to provide comprehensive care, we perform stem cell transplants to treat some forms of cancer and other blood-related diseases.

We have one focus: kids. 

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

We perform autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplants, and provide care coordination for patients and families during all phases of the transplant process.

Autologous stem cell transplant.

During an autologous transplant, a patient receives his or her own stem cells. 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 transplant.

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. The stem cells in an allogeneic transplant 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.

When no suitable related donor is available locally, we work with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to secure stem cell products from volunteer donors throughout the world.

Locations/Contact Us

Contact Stem Cell Transplant Program

330-543-8580

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Cancer and Blood Disorders
Akron Children's Hospital
214 W. Bowery Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-3220
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Our Doctors/Providers

Steven Kuerbitz
Steven Kuerbitz, MD

Director, Divisional Research and Stem Cell Transplantation; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

Prasad Bodas
Prasad Bodas, MD

Director, Sickle Cell Program; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

Courtney Culbertson
Courtney Culbertson, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC, CPHON

Stem Cell Transplant Program Coordinator; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

John Fargo
John Fargo, DO

Director, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center; Divisional Quality Improvement; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

Laura Gerak
Laura Gerak, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Stephanie Savelli
Stephanie Savelli, MD

Director, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program; Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program; Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist