SEATTLE — January 17, 2018 — The Fred Hutch/SCCA program was one of 13 centers around the country receiving this top evaluation and one of only six that has exceeded expectations for at least five years in a row. The annual CIBMTR® report, issued Dec. 14, included nearly 24,000 allogeneic transplants performed from 2013 through 2015 at 174 transplant centers around the country.
“The news that our bone marrow transplant program has achieved top outcomes in patient survival for the fifth year in a row reflects the strength of the SCCA and Fred Hutch partnership in translating scientific discoveries into successful treatments,” said Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, president and executive director of SCCA and senior vice president of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch. She’s also head of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
“I’m delighted by what this means for patients and their families, and I’m thankful to our dedicated staff for continuing to improve outcomes of patients,” she said.
This renowned Program has established itself as a leader in the clinical use of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, and has performed more than 14,000 bone marrow transplants over the past 40+ years – more than any other cancer treatment institute in the world.
Stem cell transplants, including bone marrow transplants, are used to treat a range of leukemia and lymphoma types, as well as other diseases such as severe aplastic anemia and sickle cell disease. Stem cell transplantation uses blood-forming cells from a donor who may or may not be related to the patient.
Comparing Transplant Centers
To arrive at its findings, CIBMTR® independently examined the survival rates of 23,846 transplant patients treated for blood cancers at U.S. centers in The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match® network. The reporting period for the 2017 report covered Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2015. During this three-year period, 795 allogeneic transplants were performed at Fred Hutch/SCCA and met the criteria for the study. The report, published annually, is required by federal law and is designed to provide potential stem cell transplant recipients, their families and the public with comparative survival rates among transplant centers.
Fred Hutch/SCCA was one of 13 centers (7 percent) identified as over-performing. Twenty-one centers’ (12 percent) survival rates were below the expected average, and 140 (80 percent) were average. Only six centers including the Hutch had the distinction of being named a top performer for at least five years in a row.
“We are proud that patients receiving a bone marrow transplant at SCCA can consistently expect survival rates that are better than those reported for most other U.S. transplant centers,” said Dr. Marco Mielcarek, medical director for the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA, and associate member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch. “We expect these superior outcomes are attributable to many factors including a dedication to teamwork combined with decades of transplant experience, ground-breaking research, and care standards that are well defined and evidence-based. Our efforts have yielded consistent improvements in efficacy and safety of stem cell transplantation and our team is committed to continued improvements in outcomes for our patients.”
Pioneers in Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation
Many of the current SCCA and Fred Hutch transplantation experts, as well as clinicians and researchers at other transplant programs around the world, were trained by Fred Hutch bone marrow and stem cell transplant pioneer Dr. E. Donnall Thomas (Thomas won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1990 for his lifesaving research.)
The study’s findings demonstrate the long-standing commitment on behalf of SCCA and Fred Hutch to improve patient outcomes by continually refining transplantation in order to make it a safer and more effective treatment. Today, more than 50,000 patients worldwide receive transplants annually, including about 500 at SCCA. The procedure has been performed on more than 1 million people worldwide.
“Our high survival rate is a testament to the efforts of the team at Seattle Cancer Center Alliance and Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center,” said Dr. Gary Gilliland, the Hutch’s president and director. “Collectively, we’ve been leading efforts to advance the effectiveness of bone marrow transplants and are proud to have helped inform a treatment that has saved tens of thousands of lives worldwide. We are working diligently to translate our research into the connections between cancer and the immune system into even more effective treatments.”
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s success in helping patients survive a wide range of cancers continues to be acknowledged by National Cancer Data Base rankings. SCCA has ranked at the top of these patient survival rankings since 2002. Additionally, SCCA is ranked among the top five Best Hospitals in the Nation for Adult Cancer Treatment by U.S. News & World Report.
Fred Hutch Media Team