Our doctors are experts at treating children using stem cell transplants, bone marrow transplants and stem cell therapy. St. Louis Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of researching innovative new treatment options.
The stem cell transplant process is intensive. It is physically stressful for your child and requires continuous — often long-term — hospitalization. Our specialized facilities help keep your child safe and your family comfortable throughout your child’s treatment and recovery.
Reduced Intensity Conditioning
The chemotherapy a patient receives before a transplant is called conditioning therapy. We use reduced intensity conditioning, meaning less chemotherapy, to prepare your child for a stem cell transplant.
We have researched these lower doses and know what will work for children. With reduced intensity conditioning, we can:
- Give only the minimum amount of chemotherapy necessary to make the transplant successful
- Minimize long-term side effects, such as anemia, bleeding and fatigue
Stem Cell Clinical Trials
Our stem cell research and clinical trials are devoted to finding innovative new treatments for children with conditions such as sickle cell disease, leukemia and immunodeficiencies.
We collaborate with other research hospitals nationwide — all in the name of working together to find the best treatments for children. Find out more about our stem cell research.
Our stem cell transplant facility includes an inpatient unit and an outpatient clinic located right next to each other. We designed this dedicated transplant unit to help lower the risk of infection and allow your child to heal properly during the critical recovery time. The transplant facility includes:
- A 16-bed inpatient bone marrow transplant unit
- Private isolation rooms equipped with a HEPA filtration system and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment
- New structures to ensure that the unit environment is highly protective against infection (a major complication for patients undergoing bone marrow transplants)
- An exercise facility for caregivers
Team Approach to Stem Cell Transplants
At Siteman Kids, your child benefits from our multidisciplinary approach. In addition to our pediatric stem cell transplant physicians, your child’s treatment team will include:
- Nurses with specialized training and experience in stem cell transplants, critical care and hematology/oncology
- A nurse navigator who coordinates your child’s care and guides your family through this medical experience
- Pediatric experts in cardiology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, radiation oncology, surgery and more
- Physical and occupational therapists; psychologists, pharmacists and nutritionists; and music, art and play therapists
Long-Term Follow-Up Care
We will monitor your child regularly for at least two years following the transplant. Your child’s body is still rebuilding its immune system and is at increased risk of infection, so frequent monitoring is critical. After treatment, we monitor children (at minimum):
- Once a week for the first three months
- Once a month after the first three months
- Once a year after the first two years (in our long-term clinic)
During follow-up visits, we ensure your child is healing well, and we check for and treat any side effects. We also help your child readjust to school or work.