The Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is the only such program in New Jersey that is part of an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center offering children, adolescents, and young adults stem cell transplantation for cancers and blood disorders including:
- Leukemia and lymphoma
- Sickle cell disease and thalassemia
- Immune system disorders
- Bone marrow failure disorders
- Inherited metabolic disorders
- Solid tumor cancers such as neuroblastoma
The program also offers cell-based treatments like gene therapy and immunotherapy, including CAR T-cell therapy, and is one of the only programs in the state of New Jersey that utilizes stem cell transplants in the treatment of benign diseases in children such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, immune system disorders, bone marrow failure disorders and inherited metabolic disorders.
Stem Cell Transplantation for Children and Young Adults
Our program provides a range of transplant options utilizing different types of cells. Our approach involves utilizing stem cells or bone marrow cells from suitable donors and these cells undergo maturation to become crucial blood components. By replacing damaged or non-functioning bone marrow or stem cells, these newly developed cells play a vital role in curing patients with challenging underlying diseases that may be resistant to other treatment methods.
Transplant options include:
- Autologous stem cell transplants. This method is suitable for children diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, neuroblastoma, and other solid tumor cancers. For this method we use patient’s own cells to cure their disease.
- Allogeneic transplants with HLA-matched sibling donors. We match donors based on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) compatibility.
- Allogeneic transplants with unrelated or partially matched related donors.
- Cord blood transplants. For this transplantation approach, we utilize umbilical cord blood obtained from either a sibling or unrelated donors.
Our program is committed to providing these diverse options to cater to the unique needs of our patients.
Cutting-edge Cellular Therapies
Researchers and physicians at the Rutgers Cancer Institute are actively exploring cutting-edge cellular and gene therapies to advance patient care. One notable approach is CAR T-cell therapy, which utilizes the patient's own T cells to selectively target and eliminate cancer cells. This therapy holds significant promise for treating hematological malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma, and certain solid tumors.
Additionally, gene therapy emerges as a potential treatment option for thalassemia and sickle cell disease by correcting genetic mutations and restoring proper hemoglobin production, providing the potential for enduring therapeutic advantages.
Our skilled team of stem cell transplant physicians, hematologist/oncologists, advanced practice nurses, social workers, a pediatric psychologist and pediatric psychiatrist come together to make sure your child receives comprehensive care, tailored to his or her individual needs. This includes oncology nurse navigators and transplant coordinators, who help guide patients and their families step by step with coordination of care.
Rutgers Cancer Institute also offers stem cell transplantation for adults with cancers and blood disorders through our Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapies Program.