The University of Arizona

UMC Bone Marrow Transplant Program Earns Prestigious Accreditation

By Katie Riley, August 7, 2000

The Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at University Medical Center has received full, three-year accreditation from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Hematopoetic Cell Therapy.

UMC now belongs to an elite group of only 34 transplant centers nationwide accredited by FAHCT and is the only FAHCT- accredited transplant center in Arizona.

"This is a real feather in our cap," said Constance Glasby, Dr.P.H., director of Transplant Services at UMC. "This accreditation does honor to our staff in the inpatient and outpatient care unit, the bone marrow stem cell recovery lab, the American Red Cross donor room and to our wonderful physicians for their high standards and quality work," Dr. Glasby said.

Bone marrow transplant is used to treat a variety of diseases, including lymphoma, aplastic anemia, immune deficiencies, solid-tumor cancers such as breast or ovarian cancer, and inherited blood disorders. In some patients, the bone marrow is diseased and must be replaced. Other patients have a disease, such as cancer, that needs to be treated with high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation that can destroy bone marrow.

A bone marrow transplant replaces the diseased or destroyed marrow with healthy cells. The procedure, similar to a blood transfusion, may be done in the patient's hospital room or in an outpatient clinic. The replacement marrow travels through the bloodstream to the bones, where it begins producing normal blood cells.

UMC's FAHCT accreditation covers allogenic and autologous marrow and peripheral progenitor transplantation, including cell collection and processing. In autologous transplant, the patient's own marrow is removed, stored and later returned. In an allogeneic transplant, marrow is donated by another person. Peripheral progenitor transplantation involves transplanting immature blood cells (rather than marrow). These progenitor cells develop into white blood cells.

UMC's bone marrow transplantation program was created in 1988. Since then, 868 adults and 184 children have undergone bone marrow transplantation at the hospital. Five adults and four children from Phoenix, Yuma and as far away as Albuquerque are currently BMT inpatients at UMC, and dozens more are receiving post-transplant outpatient care at the hospital.