For bone marrow transplant patients, outcomes and data matter
August 22, 2014 | by Nicole White
Nearly four decades ago, City of Hope began its bone marrow transplant program. Its first transplant reunion celebration was a single patient and his donor, also his brother.
This year, City of Hope welcomed hundreds of hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients to the annual bone marrow transplant/HCT reunion. Since the program’s inception, City of Hope has performed more than 12,000 hematopoietic cell transplants, for patients ranging in age from less than 1 year old to more than 79 years old.
The reunion of bone marrow transplant patients, one of the highlights of the year for City of Hope, underscores the close relationships that City of Hope caregivers have with their patients, even those who have been free of their cancer for decades. The outcomes for the program underscore the importance of those relationships and the high level of expertise provided here: They are among the very best in the nation.
Data from the federal Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research is widely considered the best basis of comparison for performance in hematopoietic cell transplantation. All centers in the country performing these transplants must provide the same type of data with uniform documentation to support in. Only 12 centers out of 169 performed above expectations in 2013, according to the database – including City of Hope.
In fact, City of Hope is the only center in the nation to achieve nine consecutive reporting years of what the center refers to as “over-performance.”
In addition to devotion to top-notch care, City of Hope is active in developing scientific discoveries that will improve care and outcomes. Stephen J. Forman, M.D., the Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, says every survivor who comes back to visit at the reunion, every positive report on outcomes, is just further motivation to never settle when it comes to quality. We can always do better.
“It leaves us both in awe, and also very humble – but also very focused,” he said after this year's reunion. “If we can do it for them, we can do it for more. Let’s get back to work.”
That's what we're doing.
Learn more about hematologic cancer treatment and research at City of Hope.
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