Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant
At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, you’ll find one of the most experienced and innovative cell transplant teams in the United States.
- Our doctors and scientists are transforming the field of cell transplant therapy. We are pioneering next-generation bone marrow/stem cell treatments and leading dozens of clinical trials.
- We’ve done more than 4,500 bone marrow and stem cell transplants in adults and children. We are among the top 20 centers in the U.S. by number of transplants, and we draw patients from all over Oregon.
- You will be treated as a whole person, not just a patient. Our transplant nurse navigator, nurse coordinators, cancer social workers and others will support you and your family before, during and after treatment.
- Our specialists offer the region’s most complete care, with therapies that aren’t available elsewhere in Oregon.
- Our bone marrow/stem cell doctors are nationally recognized and take part in top transplant organizations.
Advanced care and expertise
A stem cell or bone marrow transplant replaces damaged blood-forming cells with healthy ones. It is a lifesaving treatment for some cancers and blood diseases. At the Knight Cancer Institute, you’ll find:
Dr. Richard Maziarz, medical director of our adult program since 1994, has more than 40 years of experience in transplantation. Our doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others all have expertise in caring for transplant patients.
- We’ve done more than 3,800 transplants in adults, including about 1,800 allogeneic transplants (using donor cells).
- We’ve done more than 700 transplants in children.
- We’re a top-20 center by number of transplants, according to the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research.
The latest therapies at OHSU
- We are the only Oregon program with allogeneic transplants (using donor cells).
- We have the ability to use donors who are half-matched (haploidentical), making a transplant an option for more patients.
- We have more than 40 clinical trials, offering access to the latest therapies and approaches.
A team of blood cancer specialists at OHSU
Our team of doctors and other experts includes:
- Hematologists (doctors who specialize in treating blood disorders)
- Medical oncologists (doctors who treat cancer with medications such as chemotherapy)
- Radiation oncologists (doctors who treat cancer with radiation therapy)
- Cancer pharmacists who meticulously protect patient safety
- An apheresis team, with nurses who are experts in collecting cells for transplant or CAR T-cell therapy
- A nurse navigator who serves as your advocate and guide throughout treatment
Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses with transplant expertise, dietitians, and physical and occupational therapists
Our adult transplant clinic’s infusion unit, where patients receive stem cells by IV, has 12 private rooms.
Our inpatient transplant unit in OHSU Hospital has 30 private rooms. Each has HEPA filtration to reduce the risk of complications. Our nurses are specially trained in treating people with weakened immune systems.
National recognition and leadership
- The Northwest Marrow Transplant Program includes OHSU Hospital, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Legacy Health’s Good Samaritan Medical Center. The program was the first multihospital effort in the U.S. to earn accreditation, in 2000, from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. We’ve been accredited ever since, earning three-year reaccreditation seven times.
- Dr. Maziarz serves on the steering committee of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network. The national network does more than half of the nation’s stem cell transplants.
- Dr. Maziarz also chairs the network’s Oregon Consortium, a collaboration of OHSU, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic and Loyola University.
- Dr. Eneida Nemecek, director of our pediatric transplant program, has served on the board of directors for Be the Match. The world’s largest marrow registry matches patients and donors.
- Joseph Bubalo, Pharm.D., and Susan Slater, FNP, received lifetime achievement awards from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.
- A company called Emerging Therapy Solutions looked at data from programs nationwide. It identified OHSU’s as a "program of experience" that combines top-tier expertise with cost-effective care.
Support services at OHSU
A bone marrow/stem cell transplant can be lifesaving. It’s also taxing physically and emotionally. At OHSU, you will find a wide array of services to support you and your family, including:
- Cancer social workers who can find counselors, support groups and resources to help you prepare for and manage treatment.
- A Bone Marrow Transplant Survivorship Program to help you arrange long-term follow-up care and handle any complications. This program is also available to patients who had a transplant elsewhere.
- Clinics in central and southern Oregon where you can receive follow-up care from OHSU providers.
- Housing assistance if you are traveling to OHSU and need to stay nearby.
- Financial support if you need help working with your insurer or paying for a transplant.
Research and clinical trials
Cancer patients at OHSU have access to the latest advances, including treatments unavailable elsewhere in the region. Knight Cancer Institute doctors are developing new transplant options and ways to reduce risk.
We offer dozens of clinical trials. These give eligible patients a chance to try experimental treatments. Your care team will talk with you about whether a trial is right for you.
- Look for a clinical trial.
- Learn more about Knight Cancer Institute clinical trials.
- OHSU was the first hospital in the Northwest to offer the cell replacement therapy Kymriah. It is the first approved treatment in which immune system T cells from each patient are genetically modified to target and eliminate cancer cells. Our doctors led the clinical trial that resulted in approval of Kymriah by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Dr. Maziarz has been the leader or co-leader of more than 100 clinical trials, many with national transplant organizations.
- Dr. Maziarz contributed to research showing good outcomes among patients age 70 and older after an allogeneic transplant (using donor cells). In past years, older patients often weren’t considered for transplants.
- Dr. Maziarz helped lead research showing that allogeneic transplants improve survival among patients ages 50 to 75 with MDS (myelodysplastic syndromes, a blood cancer). As a result, the researchers recommend that Medicare start covering the treatment.
- Our doctors are studying a potential way to prevent graft-versus-host disease in cell transplant patients by altering the makeup of the donor cells. Graft-versus-host disease is a life-threatening complication in which the transplanted cells attack the patient’s body.
- OHSU is one of 21 centers leading a clinical trial of stem cell transplants as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. The transplant is meant to “reboot” the immune system, which malfunctions in MS and damages the brain and nervous system.
- Our program belongs to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, which contains information on more than 425,000 transplant patients. This offers researchers at OHSU and elsewhere a rich resource for improving care and outcomes for patients. Learn more about our cancer registries.
National and international affiliations
Our providers and researchers work with top transplant groups, including:
- American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
- Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network
- Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research
- Children's Oncology Group
- ISCT (International Society Cell & Gene Therapy)
- National Marrow Donor Program/Be the Match
- Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium
- SWOG Cancer Research Network
Call 503-494-7999 to:
- Request an appointment
- Seek a second opinion
- Ask questions
Help and education:
Knight Cancer Institute, South Waterfront
Center for Health & Healing, Building 2
3485 S. Bond Ave.
Portland, OR 97239
Free parking for patients and visitors
Refer a patient
- Refer your patient to OHSU.
- Call 503-494-4567 to seek provider-to-provider advice.
Kids and teens
'The man who saved my life'
An OHSU bone marrow transplant patient meets the man whose life-giving donation treated her leukemia.
Thriving after a bone marrow transplant
Meet Matt McCallum, who was treated for a fast-growing type of leukemia with our team at the Knight Cancer Institute.
OHSU helps develop therapy
Read about Dr. Richard Maziarz’s role in gaining FDA approval for Kymriah, an immunotherapy. Dr. Maziarz sees huge potential for treating blood cancers and other cancers.
Learn more about OHSU Knight Cancer Institute treatments: