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If your child needs a cellular therapy treatment like a blood and marrow transplant (BMT), our team at Atrium Health Levine Children’s offers expert, leading care. We’re home to one of the few cellular therapies units dedicated to kids in the Southeast, and we partner with families, and our comprehensive team to provide the best possible outcomes for patients with hard-to-treat and/or rare diseases.

About cellular therapies

Blood and marrow transplants replace a child’s diseased cells with new, healthy cells. This process takes a few weeks and usually starts with chemotherapy (and sometimes radiation) to destroy cells that cause cancer and other diseases. Then doctors deliver new cells through an IV. These cells take up residence in your child’s bone marrow and start making healthy cells.

We offer excellent care and state-of-the-art treatment options, including:

  • Autologous transplants. Cells for these transplants are taken from your child when they’re in remission. At that time, we use chemotherapy and radiation to try to wipe out any remaining diseased cells. Then we put your child’s healthy cells back into their body.
  • Allogeneic transplants. In these transplants, the cells usually come from a donor (often a healthy family member), who has compatible or “matched” cells. We can also use cells from another child’s umbilical cord blood.
  • Half-match transplants. This new approach uses donor cells that are similar to your child’s cells but not perfectly matched. This makes transplants available to more kids, and we’re among the few hospitals in the region to offer this procedure.
  • CAR T-cell and other immunotherapies
  • Virus-specific T-cell therapies

What we treat

Cellular therapies can be used to help children with cancers, blood disorders and other illnesses, including:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia 
  • Acute myeloid leukemia 
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Germ cell tumors and other solid tumors
  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
  • Immunodeficiency syndromes
  • Lymphomas
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes 
  • Myeloproliferative syndromes
  • Sickle cell disease 
  • Transfusion dependent thalassemia 

Take a virtual tour

New BMT and Cellular Therapies Unit Opens at Levine Children’s Hospital

Our team

Our cellular therapies experts work hand-in-hand with many different specialists to help your child before, during and after their procedure. Our care team includes:

  • Child life specialists, who help children understand their treatments and help families navigate all aspects of a severe childhood illness.
  • Child psychologists, who help patients stay positive and resilient during treatment.
  • Hematologists and oncologists, who tailor the procedure to meet your child’s needs.
  • Nutrition experts, who make sure kids have all the nutrients they need to stay strong during treatment.
  • Specialized nurses, who have cared for many BMT patients and know how to keep them comfortable during the procedure.
  • Social workers, who help assess families’ financial and emotional needs and provide resources to help.
  • Survivorship experts for childhood cancer survivors, who, through our Survivorship Clinic, monitor children’s health and help them stay well for years after cancer treatments.

Why choose Levine Children’s?

Sometimes, a cellular therapy treatment can be a child’s best hope to beat certain cancers and blood disorders. These are complicated, intense procedures, so it’s important for your child to receive care from experienced doctors who specialize in treating kids. Families choose Levine Children’s because:

  • We have top doctors. Our cellular therapy experts are among the most trusted providers in the Southeast. We're performing more transplants each year, and we’ve helped many patients overcome even rare, complex conditions. This gives us the experience to know if a cellular therapy is right for your child and to minimize the odds of complications.
  • We’re making cellular therapies an option for more kids with more conditions. cellular therapy treatments used to only be possible for a small number of children because they needed cells from a perfectly matched donor. We’re pioneering ways to transplant cells from donors who are only partially matched, making it easier to find a donor for your child. And we’re using the BMT procedure to help kids not only with cancer, but with disorders like sickle cell anemia, too.
  • We offer comprehensive recovery and rehabilitation. At first, cellular therapies leave kids vulnerable to infections and other complications. We do our best to prevent those by delivering around-the-clock care throughout the cellular therapy process. Our experience means that we know what to watch for and which medications to use to help kids recover and get back to normal life.
  • We have fully equipped facilities. To accommodate more children who need a cellular therapy treatment, we’ve doubled our number of HEPA-filtered rooms – rooms with advanced air filtration systems that limit contaminants. We also have a playroom just for these kids, so they have a place to have fun without compromising their immunity during treatment.
  • We help your family through all aspects of care. At Levine Children’s, families can work with social workers, psychologists, child life specialists and spiritual caregivers to cope with the stress and emotions of a serious illness. We also offer integrative medicine, like nutrition advice, art therapy and pet therapy, to keep your child as healthy as possible.
  • Our patients have leading outcomes. We have a 99% survival rate for patients 100 days post-transplant.
  • We’re finding ways to make cellular therapies better. For example, we offer BMT procedures that involve smaller amounts of radiation and chemotherapy. This makes treatments less toxic and reduces side effects.