Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

Image of U.S. News and World Report badge for "Best Children's Hospitals, Cancer, 2023-2024".

Children who have cancer and blood diseases deserve every possible chance for treatment success. Transplantation and Cellular Therapy provides hope for children who need the most advanced care.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has the largest comprehensive program of its kind in the Western U.S. We’re pioneering research to find promising new treatments. Our specialized therapies treat childhood cancer, blood diseases and other rare genetic and immune conditions. Our world-leading research offers these children a chance for a cure where one simply didn’t exist before.

Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplants: Why Choose Us

Transplantation and Cellular Therapy is part of our nationally ranked Cancer and Blood Disease Institute. CHLA is one of the few programs in the country offering these advanced transplant and cell therapy services.

Our program offers your child:

  • Top experts in rare childhood diseases: Our program leaders are recognized as pioneers in the field of cell therapy and transplantation. At our program, your child receives care from doctors using the latest treatments available.
  • National recognition: Our program has been accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) since 2002. We deliver care that sets the standard across the world.
  • Powerful therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers: Our cellular therapy treatments target cancers that were once considered untreatable. We offer chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, which modifies a person’s own cells to attack cancer cells. Learn more about CAR T-cell therapy.
  • Complex transplants for treatment: We offer sophisticated stem cell transplants to treat childhood cancers, bone marrow failure and certain genetic diseases. Our specialists have years of experience with these customized treatments. We expertly manage your child’s care throughout the process.
  • A state-of-the-art infusion center: We provide multiple types of infusion and transfusion treatment in our pediatric Infusion Center. Our clinicians developed guidelines that set the standard for infusion and transfusion care for children and young adults. The center provides a comfortable setting to support your family during treatments.

Innovative Services and Treatments

Led by internationally recognized doctors, our program offers some of the most advanced treatments available for children with rare blood disorders and cancers. Our treatments include:

  • Cell therapy using CAR T-cells, natural killer (NK) cells and others: These treatments use a person’s own immune cells to target and destroy cancer cells in blood cancers such as leukemia.
  • Cord blood and haploidentical (half-match) transplants: These therapies provide more options for children who do not have a matched sibling or unrelated donor, which is increasingly common in our diverse population.
  • Bone marrow transplants (BMT): This treatment uses marrow either from your child or a donor to treat certain genetic, immunological or metabolic disorders and cancers.
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplants: Hematopoietic stem cells can develop into all types of blood cells. These transplants use hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow, peripheral blood or umbilical cord blood.
  • Immunotherapy: Also called biologic therapy, immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells.

Cancers and Blood Diseases We Treat

At CHLA, we offer bone marrow and stem cell transplants to treat all types of childhood cancers and blood diseases, even the most rare and complex. Some of the conditions we treat include:

Pediatric cancer

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Certain solid tumors, including neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Blood diseases

  • Red blood cell disorders, including sickle cell disease and thalassemia
  • White blood cell disorders, including chronic granulomatous disease, severe congenital neutropenia and leukocyte adhesion deficiency
  • Immune diseases that affect bone marrow, including severe combined immune deficiency and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
  • Bone marrow failure disorders, including aplastic anemia

Other genetic diseases

  • Genetic metabolism conditions, including mucopolysaccharidoses and leukodystrophies
  • Genetic (primary) immune system deficiencies
  • Genetic autoimmune diseases

Your child also has access to an extensive team dedicated to mental and emotional well-being in our HOPE Psychology Service and Survivorship and Supportive Care Program.

Our Research and Achievements

Our experts in bone marrow and stem cell transplants and cellular therapy are pioneering research breakthroughs to improve care for children with cancer and blood diseases. Our achievements include:

  • Leaders in CAR T-cell therapy: We are among the first pediatric institutions in the world to offer CAR T-cell therapy. This treatment provides an option for children who have leukemia that has not responded to other treatments.
  • Reduction in treatment side effects: Our research has helped pioneer treatments for noncancerous conditions that have fewer side effects. We focus on preserving a child’s fertility and well-being long after treatment is complete.
  • Breakthroughs in leukemia treatment: Some children who have ALL may not need radiation therapy to prepare for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Minimizing radiation therapy can lower the risk of future side effects such as cancer recurring or spreading to a new location.
  • Techniques to help prevent graft-versus-host disease: Graft-versus-host disease is a complication of some bone marrow and stem cell transplants. We pioneered advanced donor testing methods and graft processing that increase the chance for a cure and lower the risk of graft-versus-host disease.
  • New ways to treat neuroblastoma: In some cases, we can use a child’s own bone marrow to treat high-risk neuroblastoma. This is called an autologous stem cell transplant, also known as stem cell rescue. Using newly developed techniques, we can remove cancer cells from marrow that was previously collected. This method allows us to do bone marrow transplants without the need for a donor.

Cancer and Blood Disease Care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

At Children’s Hospital, your child has access to innovative treatments and leading-edge care. Learn more about our Cancer and Blood Disease Institute Programs and Services.

Contact us

The Cancer and Blood Disease Institute welcomes new patients, referrals and second opinions. Please call us to make an appointment.