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Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Transplant

Why choose Ochsner Health for your stem cell/bone marrow transplant?

If you or a loved one needs a stem cell transplant — also called a bone marrow transplant — for a hematologic (blood) condition, make Ochsner Health your first and last stop. Patients with cancerous and noncancerous hematologic conditions who choose Ochsner can take comfort in knowing we provide exceptional care every step of the way, from diagnosis and treatment to long-term follow-up and survivorship.

  • Expert care close to home. Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans is the only center in the region to offer both autologous stem cell transplants (using healthy stem cells from your own body) and allogeneic transplants (using healthy stem cells from a donor). You never have to travel far for leading-edge stem cell transplantation and compassionate, comprehensive care before, during and after your transplant. You’ll also have access to virtual visits for first-time and follow-up appointments and ongoing support and resources from our survivorship program.

  • Nationally accredited for care. Ochsner’s Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program is fully accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy to perform bone marrow/stem cell transplants. The foundation is the only accrediting organization that addresses all quality aspects of stem cell and cellular therapy.

  • Advanced training makes a difference. The Ochsner stem cell transplant team includes some of the only physicians in the country who have completed additional training in stem cell transplantation and cell therapy. Our physicians are also actively involved in the American Society of Transplantation and Cell Therapy and American Society of Hematology. U.S. News & World Report has given Ochsner’s cancer care a mark of excellence for patient services and use of advanced technologies.

  • Sophisticated technology. Ochsner offers on-site processing and manipulation (forcing cells to work differently) of harvested stem cells at our cellular therapy processing lab. Patients receive care in a high-quality outpatient infusion suite and a dedicated blood cancer and transplant unit.

Pioneering research. Our cancer experts conduct ongoing, leading-edge clinical trials so we can introduce patients to new methods of prevention and treatment.

Stem cell transplants are used to treat a wide range of hematologic conditions, both cancerous (such as blood cancer) and noncancerous (such as inherited hemoglobin disorders and anemia). Some of the most common conditions that may require a stem cell transplant include:

  • Amyloidosis — a disease that develops when a protein accumulates in organs, potentially leading to organ failure

  • Aplastic anemia — a blood condition that is diagnosed when your body doesn’t produce enough blood cells, potentially causing fatigue, uncontrolled bleeding and infection

  • Hodgkin lymphoma

  • Leukemia (including acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia)

  • Multiple myeloma

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome — a type of blood and bone marrow disease that develops as the result of damaged blood cells in the marrow

  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms — a disease that occurs when too many platelets, red blood cells or certain white blood cells are produced by the bone marrow

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B- and T-Cell)

  • POEMS syndrome and other plasma cell disorders — abnormal plasma cells allow tumors to develop in the soft tissue or bones

Bone marrow is the tissue inside the center of your bones, and stem cells are the immature cells that form in the tissue. As stem cells mature, they become:

  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen across your body

  • White blood cells, which fight infection

  • Platelets, which clot your blood

Stem cells are first collected from the patient or donor and then filtered and frozen. When the patient is ready for transplantation, they will receive the stem cells intravenously.

Patients are then given high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation, which is intended to eliminate any potentially residual abnormal (cancer) cells and normal cells. The stem cells, which were previously collected, are then infused to “rescue” normal bone marrow function. In a stem cell transplant from a donor, a new immune system from the donor is re-established to monitor for cancer cells.

This whole procedure is done in the hospital to allow for close monitoring and symptom management by our well-trained staff.

Ochsner is known for our patient-centered care and that begins with our large team of professionals from many fields who work closely with you to deliver the most effective, personalized treatment and support available. Your multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Apheresis nurses, who have special training to work with blood and blood components

  • Blood bank and cellular processing physicians

  • Case manager

  • Clinical research nurse

  • Data manager

  • Dietitians

  • Financial counselor

  • Hematopathologist, who is an expert in blood disorders and diseases

  • Integrative medicine provider who cares for your body, mind and spirit

  • Nurse practitioners and registered nurses

  • Oncology psychologist

  • Patient navigator

  • Physicians

  • Physician assistants

  • Quality manager

  • Radiologists

  • Social workers

  • Stem cell technician

  • Transplant coordinator

Beyond transplant expertise, Ochsner offers several specialty programs for patients who need additional targeted care before, during and after a stem cell transplant, including:

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer and Survivorship Program. Co-directed by a pediatric oncologist and bone marrow transplant physician and an adult hematologist and transplant physician, this program helps patients between the ages of 15 and 39 with fertility preservation, fitness, nutrition, and social and mental health needs.

  • Graft-Versus-Host Disease Clinic. Ochsner is the only clinic in Louisiana to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary care focused on managing graft-versus-host disease.

  • Precision Cancer Therapies Program. Our early phase clinical trial program has a special hematology track. We are the only hospital in Louisiana to offer Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, along with Phase 3 trials for patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed blood cancers.

Transplant Survivorship Program. This program focuses on managing and treating any long-term complications and side effects that a transplant patient may experience.


Stem cells are human cells that can act as the body’s repair system, or they can become specialized cells that have a specific function, such as muscle cells, bone cells or brain cells. In cancer treatment, stem cells are often used as regenerative medicine, which means stem cells may be able to repair tissues that have been impacted by cancer. During a bone marrow transplant, for example, stem cells are transfused into the patient in hopes that they will begin producing healthy bone marrow cells.

Bone marrow is a spongy tissue found in the center of most bones. Bone marrow is a critical part of the body because it contains stem cells that can develop into platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells, as well as bone cells, cartilage and fat.

If patients need an allogeneic stem cell transplant, family members in good health will be considered. Family donors must be between the ages of 18 and 65. Blood tests will be performed to see if they are a match for the patient. If they are deemed a good match, they will need additional tests to determine if they are inadequate physical health to donate.

I don’t have any family. Can I still get an allogeneic transplant? Over 70% of patients who need a bone marrow transplant do not have an eligible family member. If our providers determine you are eligible for a stem cell transplant, we will search the national Be The Match Registry for compatible donors.

Can I donate my bone marrow/stem cells to help someone else? If you are between 18 and 40 years old and in good health, you may be eligible to donate stem cells. Check the Be the Match Registry for the full medical guidelines.

How long will I need to stay in the hospital? Stem cell transplantation is a complicated procedure. Patients should expect to be in the hospital for several weeks or even months. The exact time will vary depending on your medical condition, how you respond to the treatment and whether there are complications. A transplant weakens the immune system, so it is critical to lower the risk of infection during this time.

What if I don’t live in New Orleans? The American Cancer Society’s Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge offers supportive housing just five minutes away at no cost to qualifying patients and families.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Transplant

Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Transplant Locations

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport - Feist-Weiller Cancer Center
1501 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71103
  • Monday – Friday: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
St. Tammany Cancer Center - A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center
900 Ochsner Blvd.
Covington, LA 70433
  • Mon – Fri: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
1214 Coolidge St.
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Cancer Center – Baton Rouge
17050 Medical Center Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7