Blood and Marrow Transplant

Virtual Tour: BMT Unit and Jacobs Medical Canter
Designed with input from patients and family, the BMT unit at Jacobs Medical Center offers unparalleled comfort and freedom of movement for those recovering from a blood or marrow transplant.

The UC San Diego Health and Sharp HealthCare joint blood and marrow transplantation program is the largest blood and marrow transplant (BMT) program in San Diego and one of the largest in California.

Our interdisciplinary team of physicians offer the most advanced diagnostics and treatment options. Together with our advanced practitioners, nurses, social workers and support staff, we can manage every aspect of a patient's care, including follow-up care.

Conditions Treated

Our physicians are dedicated to advancing treatments for all forms of hematologic malignancies, including caring for patients undergoing blood and marrow transplants. Our physicians offer specialized expertise in:

  • Acute and chronic leukemia
  • Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas
  • Inherited and acquired bone marrow failure syndromes
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Myelofibrosis

Types of Treatment

We offer standard-of-care therapies, as well as the most promising investigational chemotherapy agents, immunologic manipulations, and novel stem cell transplantation methods, including:

  • Allogeneic transplants, which use stem cells from a related donor, unrelated matched donor or half-matched related (haploidentical) donor
  • Cord blood transplants, which use stem cells from the umbilical cord blood or placenta of healthy newborns. Cord blood transplants are also a type of allogeneic transplant.
  • Reduced-intensity allogeneic transplants, which administer a lower dose of chemotherapy or radiation to safely treat older and more fragile patients
  • Autologous transplants, which uses the patient’s own stem cells
  • Induction and salvage chemotherapies for newly diagnosed, relapsed and refractory hematologic malignancies
  • Donor lymphocyte infusions (DLI), which use the immune system to try to fight cancer that recurs after transplantation
  • Total Body Irradiation, in which the body is irradiated, in conjunction with chemotherapy, to reduce the risk of tissue rejection

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

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments. As part of a research-intensive academic medical center, Moores Cancer Center typically has more than 300 actively enrolling clinical trials advancing cancer care, such as with CAR T-cell immunotherapy, which uses a person's own genetically engineered white blood cells to recognize and target cancer cells. This means our patients may have an opportunity to benefit from treatments that are not widely available elsewhere. Individuals who wish to undergo a BMT as well as those who would prefer to pursue an alternative treatment may be eligible for inclusion in a clinical trial or research study. Search for a clinical trial at Moores Cancer Center.

Inpatient and Outpatient Services

BMT is often preceded by high-dose chemotherapy, which destroys both your cancerous and healthy cells. Most patients will need to be in the hospital for three to four weeks after their transplant to avoid infection.

Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla has an entire floor dedicated to the care, recovery and comfort of BMT patients. Designed with input from BMT patients and their families, all rooms within this specialty care hospital are private, with space for family members and a restaurant-style meal service. The BMT unit has a full-floor, pressurized, aseptic air-filtration system that allows patients freedom to leave their room, walk around, visit with family and friends, enjoy views of the terraced gardens and even work out in a special gym.

In certain situations, there are opportunities for some (or even all) of the transplant process to be performed on an outpatient basis. Outpatient visits are at Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla.

The Highest-Quality Care: Volume and Outcomes

Studies show that the best patient outcomes occur in centers that perform a high volume of specific medical procedures, such as BMT. 

Since 1989, UC San Diego Health has performed more than 2,600 stem cell transplants. In 2000, UC San Diego Health and Sharp HealthCare partnered to create a joint blood and marrow transplantation program that combines resources, collaborates on research and expands specialized BMT care in the San Diego region

Data from our transplants are reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research and the National Marrow Donor Program to track outcomes and compile other statistics that may improve survival, treatment, and quality life for transplant patients.

Accreditation, Credentials and Affiliations

Our joint BMT program was one of 16 charter members of the prestigious Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network of the National Institutes of Health, the premier BMT clinical trials group in the world.

Our program is accredited by, affiliated with, or a member of the following organizations:

In addition, UC San Diego Health plays a lead role in the University of California Hematologic Malignancies Consortium (UCHMC), a collaboration among all five University of California medical centers  to advance treatments for rare blood cancers, as well as blood cancers associated with specific, targetable, genetic mutations.

UC San Diego Health is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in San Diego County. Learn more about our Moores Cancer Center.

See more information about blood and marrow transplants:

Appointments & Referrals

Locations

La Jolla

Meet Our Specialists

Related Programs

Upcoming BMT classes

Classes for patients and caregivers meet monthly. See the schedule.

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