BMT yearly results: More transplants, success

The Blood and Marrow Transplant program at The University of Kansas Cancer Center continues to expand and provide more life-saving treatments.

BMT staff performed a record 230 transplants in calendar year 2012, a 7 percent increase from 2011. The number of photopheresis treatments – a procedure for patients with graft-versus-host disease – jumped 27 percent to 1,915, the most ever.

Blood and marrow transplants are life-saving treatments for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other related blood diseases.

"The success we continue to achieve with the BMT program is due to our outstanding physicians, clinical staff and support staff," said Joseph McGuirk, D.O., BMT medical director. "Working as a team, we are able to save more lives every day."

Other highlights of BMT's remarkable year:

  • The BMT team performed 28 transplants in August, a record month. March also saw a record number of BMT referrals, 44.
  • The number of new BMT patients enrolled in clinical trials totaled 95 in 2012, up 13 percent. Clinical trials are an important factor in the cancer center's application as a comprehensive National Cancer Institute facility, the next level of NCI designation.
  • Even while treating more patients, BMT staff continued to provide excellent care. Units 41 and 42 achieved an overall patient satisfaction score at the 94th percentile in 2012, up from 90th in 2011.

Established in 1977, the BMT program celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2012. The team has performed more than 1,800 transplants in that time.

Growth has been especially robust since the program's formal expansion in 2007. Before that, the cancer center performed about 40 transplants a year.

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