Children’s stem cell transplantationsKeywords:
All children’s stem cell transplantations in Finland are performed at HUS. Each year, we perform about 30 stem cell transplantations on the Taika ward of the New Children’s Hospital. Our treatment outcomes are at a high level by international comparison.
A stem cell transplantation places significant stress on a child’s system and compromises their immune system for a long time. The patient must be kept in isolation on the ward for 4 to 6 weeks. The total treatment period on the ward is 1 to 3 months. Recovery is a slow process.
In an allogenic stem cell transplantation, the donor is a sibling, a registry donor or one of the parents. We match more than 90% patients with a suitable stem cell donor. We use allogenic stem cell transplantations for treating patients with malignant blood disorders and deficiencies of bone marrow function or of the immune system. In cases of cancer, we first aim to treat using cytotoxic drugs and sometimes using full body radiation therapy before performing a stem cell transplantation.
Autologous stem cell transplantations are used to treat malignant solid tumors. This treatment is performed using stem cells harvested from the child’s own blood stream or bone marrow. We harvest the stem cells at the start of the treatment period. We then return them to the patient after high-dosage cytotoxic drug therapy as a support measure to reboot the functioning of the bone marrow.