Weill Cornell Bone Marrow Transplant Program

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Kerry McDuffee Receives DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing

Kerry McDuffee, an inpatient nurse within the Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian (WCM/NYP) Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program, was named a June 2017 DAISY Award Honoree in recognition of the care and compassion that she provides patients and their families.

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July 4: Freedom from Cancer

Manhattan fireworks showThis Fourth of July holiday, we’re not only celebrating the red, white and blue that honors the independence and freedom of our country, but also freedom from cancer and the cancer “blues.” Feeling this sense of freedom may mean that you’re cancer-free or that you’re unwilling to let a cancer diagnosis define you.

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2017 BMT Tandem Meetings

The Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Tandem meetings are the premier international conference on stem cell transplantation. Held in February 2017 in Orlando, Florida, the BMT Tandem Meetings serve as the combined annual meetings of the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT).  The CIBMTR and ASBMT are the two leading organizations for dedicated to advancing the field of bone marrow transplantation.

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Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Workshop

Dr. Usama Gegis.pngOn January 15-17, 2017, the 4th Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Workshop was held at the King Faisal Research and Cancer Center in Rhyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Usama Gergis of the Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Bone Marrow Transplant Program served as session chair and moderator for a symposium on the long-term complications of bone marrow transplantation.

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Allogeneic Transplantation for Patients With Advanced Myelofibrosis: Splenomegaly and High Serum LDH are Adverse Risk Factors for Successful Engraftment

Myelofibrosis is an often aggressive form of myeloproliferative disease. Many patients benefit from medical therapy, but others are better served with a stem cell transplantation. Dr. Usama Gergis from our team recently reported the outcomes for 30 patients transplanted at our institution between 2000 and 2014. He showed that long term cure can be obtained, but that the risks are considerable, particularly in patients with massive splenomegaly.


These historical data are informative, but are unlikely to represent current outcomes.  Better supportive care and earlier referral have over the past years resulted in markedly improved outcomes.


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Haplo-Cord Transplant Outcomes Compared to Double Cord Blood Transplant

Many patients who need transplant do not have matching donors in the registry. They are commonly offered umbilical cord blood transplantation, where stem cells are isolated from the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Other centers use grafts from partially matched related donors, so-called haplo-identical transplants.

In a procedure largely developed at our center, we use a combination of haplo-identical and umbilical cord blood cells. In a paper recently published in the journal Haematologica, we show how haplo-cord transplants recipients have considerably better outcomes when compared with double cord transplant recipients.

Van Besien et al, Reduced intensity haplo plus single cord transplant compared to double cord transplant: improved engraftment and survival free of progression and GVHD (GRFS), Haematologica,  February 2016

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Treatment of Para-influenza Virus in Transplant Patients

Para-influenza virus is common in the community and can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening pneumonias.  Patel et al, tested the novel drug DAS181 in transplant patients with such infections an report encouraging outcomes.

Salvatore et al, DAS181 for Treatment of Parainfluenza Virus Infections in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients at a Single Center, Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, February 2016.

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Transplant for Follicular Lymphoma

Many new treatments have been developed for follicular lymphoma over the past years. But for some patients, autologous or allogeneic transplant remains the best option. Here Dr. van Besien discusses the pro’s and con’s of allogeneic vs autologous transplantation.

Allografting versus Autografting for Follicular Lymphoma: An Ongoing Conundrum, BBMT Volume 21, Issue 12, December 2015, Pages 2035–2036

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Presentations at ASBMT

The “Tandem Meetings” are the premier venue for presenting novel data in transplantation.

Held in Honolulu, Hawaii, our team was well represented;

Hanna Choe, MD, a fellow in Hematology/Oncology presented on a new transplant conditioning regimen. Fludarabine, Melphalan, 4Gy TBI Conditioning for High-Risk Haplo-Cord Transplantation Is Well Tolerated and Results in Prompt Engraftment

Jen Bourke, RN, BSN, OCN, our transplant coordinator, presented on  Extracorporeal Apheresis Via AV Fistula in Multiple Myeloma Patients with End Stage Renal Disease