The Ne­braska Med­i­cal Cen­ter cel­e­brate 30 years of can­cer trans­plant pro­gram mile­stones

Wellness Update - - Health News -

OMAHA, Neb. – Since per­form­ing its first bone mar­row trans­plant on April 1, 1983, the Univer­sity of Ne­braska Med­i­cal Cen­ter and its hos­pi­tal part­ner, The Ne­braska Med­i­cal Cen­ter, have evolved into one of the lead­ing bone mar­row/stem cell trans­plan­ta­tion cen­ters in the world. The pro­gram has per­formed 4,460 trans­plants in pa­tients from all 50 states and more than a dozen coun­tries -- 4,043 trans­plants in adults and 417 in chil­dren. Most adults have sought the treat­ment for can­cers of the blood, in par­tic­u­lar, lym­phoma, leukemia and mul­ti­ple myeloma. Pe­di­atric trans­plants nor­mally are per­formed for pa­tients with more ag­gres­sive dis­ease such as for acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia. “We have an ex­tra­or­di­nary team ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing can­cer treat­ment and care. Their work has in­creased sur­vival sub­stan­tially in pa­tients,” said Julie Vose, M.D., chief of the UNMC Di­vi­sion of He­ma­tol­ogy/On­col­ogy and the Neu­mann M. and Mil­dred E. Har­ris Pro­fes­sor. “Through the ef­forts of many, peo­ple now have ac­cess to some of the best can­cer treat­ment in the world right here in Omaha.” The adult trans­plant pro­gram, which was founded by Kear­ney, Neb., na­tive, James Armitage, M.D., per­formed its first bone mar­row trans­plant on April 1, 1983, while the pe­di­atric trans­plant pro­gram was launched in 1987 by Peter Coc­cia, M.D. Anne Kessinger, M.D., of Scrib­ner, Neb., pi­o­neered stem cell trans­plan­ta­tion. The ther­apy is now stan­dard prac­tice around the world. “We learn through our en­coun­ters with pa­tients and our clin­i­cal tri­als. Our ex­pe­ri­ence not only helps our cur­rent pa­tients but also will help fu­ture pa­tients five or 10 years down the road. In on­col­ogy, ev­ery­thing we do is based on re­search,” Dr. Vose said. We’re ex­cited to take the next step to ad­vance our work for bet­ter treat­ments and im­prove the qual­ity of life for those with can­cer,” Dr. Vose said. “It’s re­as­sur­ing to be able to see pa­tients over the years and help them through their ill­ness. There’s noth­ing bet­ter than see­ing them re­turn to a nor­mal, healthy life­style and have time with their fam­i­lies.” For more in­for­ma­tion visit: www.unmc.edu/trans­plant.

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