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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Renowned Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Children’s Hospital Earns National Accreditation

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program has earned prestigious accreditation from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).

BMT is used to treat a number of life-threatening conditions that were once considered incurable such as high-risk leukemias and other forms of cancer, inherited immune defects, sickle cell disease, and severe aplastic anemia.

Children’s BMT Program, established in 1991, also is accredited by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) for unrelated donor transplants in children. Transplants performed at Children’s utilize bone marrow, peripheral blood, and cord blood as stem cell sources. Children’s performs autologous, syngeneic, allogeneic (related, unrelated and mismatched donor) and umbilical cord blood transplants.

Patient survival rates for all types of BMT at Children’s meet and often exceed national benchmarks, according to Rakesh Goyal, MD, director of the BMT Program at Children’s and an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“The physicians, nurses and other staff who make up Children’s BMT Program are among the most experienced and talented in the world. Earning this accreditation is a testament to their efforts to provide transplants for our young patients that are both safe and effective,” Dr. Goyal said. “National organizations like FACT and NMDP set extremely rigorous standards for accreditation, and we are proud to be recognized for our dedication to our patients.”

Children’s is a national leader in BMT. In 2003, Children’s became the first hospital in the tristate region to perform a reduced-intensity transplant, a breakthrough treatment and the only known cure for sickle cell disease. By using lower-than-usual doses of chemotherapy and higher doses of immunosuppressive drugs, the recipient’s bone marrow is not destroyed. Through this innovative approach, the chances for life-threatening side effects are reduced.

FACT was created in 1994 through the joint efforts of the International Society for Cellular Therapy and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. FACT is a nonprofit corporation developed for the purposes of self-assessment and accreditation in the field of hematopoietic cell therapy.

Learn more about Children’s BMT program.


Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
April 28, 2008
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Last Update
April 28, 2008