Miami Cancer Institute Now Offering Stem Cell Transplantations

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Miami Cancer Institute Now Offering Stem Cell Transplantations

The Blood & Marrow Transplant program recently received approval of a certificate of need from the state

MIAMI, FL – December 21, 2018 – Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, is offering autologous stem cell transplants for patients with multiple myeloma and lymphoma on an outpatient basis, a procedure that spares patients weeks of hospitalization, often in isolation, and promotes recovery. The Institute also began performing inpatient autologous transplants for more complex cases in November of this year at Miami Cancer Institute.

“Being at home with loved ones and staying active can lead to better outcomes in certain patients,” said Guenther Koehne, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally renowned blood cancer expert and Miami Cancer Institute’s chief of Blood & Marrow Transplantation and Hematologic Oncology.

Under Dr. Koehne’s direction, the Institute already has performed several outpatient and inpatient autologous stem cell transplants for patients with multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease, in which the patient’s own stem cells are collected and then reintroduced. Allogeneic transplants, which use stem cells from a donor, are indicated for patients with leukemia, myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative disorders and are more complex procedures which always require hospitalization. These procedures will be performed at Miami Cancer Institute starting February of 2019 upon completion of a new state-of-the-art stem cell processing and immunotherapy laboratory.

Miami Cancer Institute’s Blood and Marrow Transplant program recently received approval of a certificate of need from the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration. The program expands inpatient stem cell transplant options in South Florida for patients with leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other blood cancers.

“The outpatient and inpatient transplant programs are an important part of our mission to provide sophisticated, high-quality cancer care to patients here in our region and also those coming from the Caribbean, Latin America and beyond,” said Dr. Koehne, who has extensive experience with such procedures from his long tenure at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he served as one of the leading physicians in the Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service in the Division of Hematologic Oncology prior to joining Miami Cancer Institute.

For the outpatient transplants, stem cells are painlessly collected from the patient’s blood over several days and then frozen. The patient receives a high dose of chemotherapy a few days before the stem cells are thawed and re-infused. For about three weeks after the transplant, patients come to the Institute every day to have their blood monitored. They must live or stay within 45 minutes of Miami Cancer Institute to qualify for the outpatient procedure.

“Uniformly requiring hospitalization for an autologous stem cell transplant no longer benefits the patient, hospital or community,” added Dr. Koehne. “This procedure is very well-tolerated.”

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