Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Nationally Recognized for Being a Leader in Blood and Marrow Transplantation

SEATTLE —  February 17, 2022 —  Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center in Washington state, was recently recognized alongside other leading cancer centers for achieving the expected performance standards established by the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), an organization dedicated to providing potential stem cell transplant recipients and their families with vital information about the observed and expected survival rates at participating transplant centers. SCCA was also acknowledged for performing as expected for overall 2021 one-year survival rates. SCCA has consistently performed as expected or outperformed expectations for one-year allogeneic BMT survival rates for more than a decade according to the annual CIBMTR report.

CIBMTR independently examined the one-year survival rates of 25,167 allogeneic blood and marrow stem cell transplants (BMT), using a risk-adjusted survival benchmark for the analysis. According to CIBMTR, a total of 173 transplant centers are represented in this analysis. The 2021 analysis includes a 3-year time interval from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2019, for first unrelated or related donor transplants, with follow-up through July 29, 2021. Centers that achieved an expected performance rating reported a more than 70% survival for these patients and were able to conduct one-year follow up with 90% of their transplant patients.  

BMT is often the best therapy for blood cancers, and one of the greatest success stories in cancer care. Built on the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s 50 year legacy of BMT work, the Fred Hutch Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA has pioneered advances in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation. Doctors in the program have completed more than 17,000 blood and marrow stem cell transplants to-date, making it among the most experienced cancer centers in this field worldwide.

“This recognition demonstrates Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s unwavering commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to our patients,” said Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, president and executive director at SCCA and senior vice president of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch. “We are proud of our exceptional record and leadership in the area of blood and marrow transplantation and are always working to help bring more advances to further improve patient outcomes.”

BMT replace cancerous or damaged cells with healthy cells. The transplanted, hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells, revive the body’s ability to make healthy new blood cells and offer the body a chance to “reset.” The cells can be from the patient, a suitable family member, or a matched unrelated donor.

As part of its efforts to improve BMT outcomes and in partnership with SCCA, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has helped pioneer innovations such as less toxic, reduced-intensity transplants for older people or people with multiple health problems as well as minimally mismatched, haploidentical or cord blood transplants. These advances helped ensure that nearly everyone who needs a donor can find one.

BMT procedures are intense and can carry long-lasting effects, so SCCA follows its patients closely throughout the entire process, offering a Long-Term Follow Up (LTFU) program that supports patients, their families and caregivers, through their care journey from initial consultation into survivorship. Currently, the LTFU program at SCCA has specialists who are following more than 6,000 patients, both children and adults.

“Blood and marrow transplantation requires highly specialized treatment. Our expertise and legacy in this field means that our patients have access to the latest lifesaving treatments and a team dedicated to their care,” said Dr. Marco Mielcarek, medical director for the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA. “Our team of clinicians have a long-standing history of following patients and their families throughout this often complex treatment path and are committed to maintaining the highest patient outcomes possible.” 

Media Contact:
Fred Hutch Media Team