Blood & Bone Marrow Transplant

Look to UC San Diego Health for your blood and marrow transplant (BMT). You'll receive the highest level of care, support and comfort.

The UC San Diego Health and Sharp HealthCare joint blood and marrow transplantation program is the largest BMT program in San Diego and one of the largest in California. We perform more blood and marrow transplants than any other San Diego health care system.

Nationally Ranked Cancer Care

UC San Diego Health is repeatedly ranked among the top 50 in the nation for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. We are also the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Diego County. This is the highest possible rating for a U.S. cancer center, and it means you’ll receive the best possible care and support. Studies show patient outcomes are better at NCI-designated cancer centers.

Transplant Expertise 

UC San Diego Health has performed more than 3,500 stem cell transplants since 1989, more than any health system in the region. Studies show that patient outcomes are better at high-volume centers such as ours.

What Is a Blood and Marrow Transplant?

A blood and marrow transplant (BMT) is an infusion of adult stem cells through a small intravenous (IV) needle in your vein. A BMT replaces defective or damaged cells. Previously, a BMT was referred to as a bone marrow transplant because stem cells were harvested from the bone marrow. Today, most stem cells are taken from circulating or peripheral blood. This procedure is called hematopoietic stem cell harvest apheresis and is much gentler on the donor.

Am I a Candidate for BMT?

Your doctor may recommend a BMT to treat blood cancer or a blood disorder. You are usually not a candidate for a BMT if you're over the age of 75 or have one of the following:

  • Uncontrolled infection
  • Severe non-correctable cardiac, vascular, or lung disease
  • Disabling psychosis
  • Significant kidney or liver disease
  • Another serious condition

Blood & Bone Marrow Transplant Process

Learn about the blood and bone marrow transplant process, from evaluation to infusion. Know more about post-discharge care and recovery.

What to Expect

Types of Treatment

Receive standard-of-care therapies, as well as the most promising investigational chemotherapy agents, immunotherapies, and novel stem cell transplant methods.

Our Bone Marrow Transplant Center

You find the highest level of comfort and support at our BMT unit within Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla. An entire floor is dedicated to your care and recovery.

The BMT unit has a full-floor air-filtration system that gives you the freedom to leave your room, walk around, visit with family and friends, enjoy views of the terraced gardens and even work out in a special gym.

Some patients may be able to receive their transplant on an outpatient basis at Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla.

Accreditation, Credentials & Affiliations

Our joint BMT program was one of the charter members of the prestigious Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, the premier BMT clinical trials group in the world. As we continuously strive to improve the quality of BMT care for all, we maintain accreditation, affiliation or membership with:

  • Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
  • American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)
  • Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network
  • Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR)
  • Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT)
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network
  • National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
  • SWOG (formerly Southwest Oncology Group)
  • University of California Hematologic Malignancies Consortium (UCHMC)

Clinical Trials

Advancing Cancer Care

UC San Diego Health was a charter member of the prestigious Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, the premier BMT clinical trials group in the world. We continue to conduct research to improve your treatment options for blood cancers and blood disorders. If your cancer has not responded to standard therapies, talk to your doctor about whether a clinical trial could be right for you.

Patient & Family Supportive Services

At UC San Diego Health, your care goes beyond treating disease. It also includes supporting you and your loved ones emotionally during your cancer journey. Most of our support services are free.

Browse All Supportive Services

Be the Match, Save a Life

As part of our dedication to patient care, we work closely with NMDP, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, to identify matched unrelated donors for our patients.

Join the Registry