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Pediatric Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Many patients come to the transplant(1) program at Children's National Hospital because of its excellent reputation in the field of pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT). Children's National patients have access to cutting-edge treatments through several clinical trials for blood and marrow transplantation. In addition, the Patient and Family Support Program provides comprehensive mental and psychosocial services and helpful resources for all patients treated in Children’s National's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, as well as patients’ parents and siblings.

Although Children's National oncologists refer many autologous transplant patients, Children’s National's transplant program also works with oncologists at other hospitals in the region and across the country to provide the transplant-related portion of a patient's treatment. Once that part of the treatment is complete, patients return to the care of their oncologist for either further treatment or follow-up. The transplant doctors at Children’s National remain available to treat, or help the oncologist treat, any transplant-related complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

About Autologous Transplantation

What is an autologous blood and marrow transplantation?

What conditions are treated with autologous blood and marrow transplantations in children?


Preparing for transplantation for a child

Transplanting stem cells for a child

Engraftment for a child

Complications or risks of transplantation for a child

1.) Transplant: A medical treatment to replace a recipient’s diseased organ or tissues with a healthy organ or tissue from a donor

2.) Donor: A volunteer (related or unrelated) who has donated stem cells for a patient

3.) Chemotherapy: Treatment for cancer using chemical substances designed to kill cancer cells. It is used in large doses to help destroy a patient’s diseased marrow in preparation for a marrow transplant

4.) Neuroblastoma: A solid tumor occurring in children which, in an advanced widespread stage, may be treated by autologous stem cell transplant

5.) Bone Marrow: The spongy center of bones that is the “factory” for all blood cells in circulation

6.) White Blood Cell: Also called a “leukocyte;” a type of blood cell produced by the bone marrow to help fight infection

7.) Engraftment: Successful transplantation of donor bone marrow cells into the patient. This is shown by the growth and differentiation of donor cells to achieve normal blood counts in the recipient

8.) Viruses: A type of germ that causes infections, most of which are not effectively treated with antibiotics. Examples: cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes, varicella (chickenpox), adenovirus, hepatitis

9.) Veno-Occlusive Disease: A rare condition which may occur in the first few weeks after a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT); caused by obstruction in the liver veins due to damage from chemotherapy and radiation

10.) Platelet: A component of the blood important in clotting. Inadequate amounts of platelets will lead to bleeding and bruising easily

11.) Red Blood Cell:  type of blood cell made in the bone marrow that carries oxygen to all parts of the body

View full glossary

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Blood Disorder Treatment at Children's National Hospital

Our pediatric hematology specialists are recognized leaders in the field, which helps us deliver advanced care for rare conditions in children. Discover more about the treatments we offer.

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Providers of Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplantation

    Departments that Offer Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplantation

    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    Whether your child needs a simple blood test or more advanced laboratory procedure, we understand it can be a frightening experience for a child and difficult for parents.

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    Blood and Marrow Transplant

    Our blood and bone marrow disease experts provide advanced transplant procedures for children and teenagers.