UChicago Medicine earns high marks for stem cell transplant survival rates

Michael R. Bishop, MD
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation expert Michael R. Bishop, MD, poses inside UChicago Medicine’s David and Etta Jonas Center for Cellular Therapy.

New data show the University of Chicago Medicine’s David and Etta Jonas Center for Cellular Therapy has the highest one-year survival rate in Illinois for adults undergoing blood and bone marrow stem cell transplants.

UChicago Medicine had an 80% one-year survival rate among adult stem cell patients, according to the latest statistics released in mid-December by the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) on behalf of the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). The national average was 76.5%.

Organizations’ survival rates (including those from UChicago Medicine data) were not adjusted to account for the severity of patients’ illnesses. Patients who are sicker may be less likely to survive the leading-edge procedures that are often a last-ditch effort for many cancer patients. Those who are healthier may have better outcomes. As a result, CIBMTR results are not meant for comparisons between centers.

CIBMTR said UChicago Medicine’s outcomes are statistically in line with expectations based on the illnesses of the patients it treated. UChicago Medicine typically cares for particularly ill patients whose prognoses are grim before their transplants. Based on the illnesses of UChicago Medicine’s patients, CIBMTR predicted the academic medical center would have a 76.4% survival rate. Its 80% adult survival rate meant the organization exceeded its predicted performance by 3.6%. No other Illinois stem cell transplant program exceeded its predicted survival rate by a higher margin.

The report reviewed outcome metrics from 175 hospitals across the country and were based on outcomes over a three-year period. At UChicago Medicine, that included 130 adult stem cell transplants and 24 pediatric patients. UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital had a 79.2% one-year survival rate for children who needed blood and bone marrow transplants, which also met statistical expectations.

“These outcomes are a direct reflection of the tremendous teamwork and efforts by all members of our transplant and cell therapy program, including our nurses, advanced practice practitioners, pharmacists, and doctors, to deliver the best care to our patients,” said Michael R. Bishop, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Jonas Center.

Stem cell transplants are a form of cellular therapy — a type of immunotherapy that transfers human cells to heal or replace damaged tissue or cells. It is an emerging field that holds significant promise for cancer patients and those with other diseases.

UChicago Medicine’s physicians and scientists are pioneers in cellular therapy care and research, including stem cell transplantation and CAR T-cell therapy. CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapy is an emerging form of cancer treatment that works by supercharging patients’ white blood cells to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

Michael R. Bishop, MD

Michael R. Bishop, MD

Michael R. Bishop, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lymphomas and leukemias. He is an expert in stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy, including CAR T-cell therapy, an advanced form of immunotherapy.

Learn more about Dr. Bishop