Newswise — SEATTLE – (December 18, 2018) The Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) has once again earned national recognition for outperforming expected one-year survival rates. The results were issued in an annual report by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research® (CIBMTR), designed to provide potential stem cell transplant recipients, their families and the public with comparative survival rates among transplant centers. This is the sixth consecutive year that the Fred Hutch BMT program at SCCA achieved higher than expected one-year survival rates, an accomplishment achieved by only four other transplant centers in the report. 

“Patients want to be assured that they’re receiving the best care to support survival, outstanding treatment outcomes and continuous quality of life, and we’re proud of our record of six continuous years surpassing the expected survival rates for our allogeneic BMT program,” said Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, president and executive director of SCCA and senior vice president of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch. “Continued recognition by notable organizations like CIBMTR, the National Cancer Institute and others provides credibility to support and reassure patients and referring physicians that the partners in our alliance make a marked difference in providing high-quality, validated options for cancer care.”

Credited with pioneering the clinical use of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation more than 40 years ago, the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA has performed more than 16,000 bone marrow transplants, among the most in the world. Dr. E. Donnall Thomas’ groundbreaking work in transplantation won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1990, and his legacy continues today, across the nation, including through the American Society of Hematology. To arrive at its findings, CIBMTR independently examined the survival rates of 24,141 bone marrow (allogeneic) transplants. According to CIBMTR, a total of 177 transplant centers are represented in this analysis. Each of these centers performed at least one unrelated or related donor transplant over the three-year window of time from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2016. During this period, 788 allogeneic transplants were performed at SCCA and met the criteria for the study.

Allogeneic transplants use stem cells from a donor who may or may not be related to the patient. Stem cell transplants, including bone marrow transplants, are used to treat a wide range of leukemias and lymphomas, as well as other diseases including severe aplastic anemia and sickle cell disease.

The process of comparing transplant centers is complex and addresses several variables, including cancer type and stage, patient’s age and pre-existing medical issues. To support improved outcomes, report findings allow researchers to compare themselves to other centers.. The report also provides patients and their families with valuable information necessary when evaluating treatment options.

“We are extremely proud that patients receiving allogeneic bone marrow transplants at SCCA can expect survival rates that are consistently better than the expected one-year survival rates,” said Dr. Marco Mielcarek, medical director for the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA and member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch. “Outcomes are attributable to many factors, but our dedicated team and their decades of transplant experience and groundbreaking research are important contributors to sustaining exceptional outcomes. Our research has yielded consistent improvements in efficacy and safety of stem cell transplantation. Our team is committed to continued improvements in outcomes for all our patients.”

SCCA has ranked at the top of these patient survival rankings since 2002. Additionally, SCCA has ranked among the Top 10 Best Hospitals in the Nation for Adult Cancer Treatment for 13 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.

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About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine – one extraordinary group whose sole purpose is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for our patients. Based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, SCCA has six clinical care sites, including a medical oncology clinic at Evergreen Health in Kirkland, Washington; medical and radiation oncology clinics at UW Medicine/Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, as well as Network affiliations with hospitals in five states. For more information about SCCA, visit seattlecca.org.