Blood and Marrow Transplantation Contact number | 202-476-6690


Finding Better Treatments for Children

The Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy team recently used a new T-cell therapy treatment to stop a life-threatening viral infection in an immunocompromised baby.

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At Children’s National Health System, we provide advanced transplantation procedures for children with blood and bone marrow diseases. Our blood and bone marrow transplantation team is one of the only teams in the region dedicated to pediatric patients. We perform these complex procedures for children of all ages. In fact, we treat more children and teens than all other Washington, DC, area hospitals combined.

We are leaders in caring for children with blood and bone marrow diseases, such as sickle cell disease and acute leukemia. We have the expertise, resources and technology to perform highly advanced procedures on even young children with any stem cell source, including sibling, unrelated, and cord blood transplants.

Features of our blood and bone marrow transplantation program include:

  • Advanced therapies. We offer our patients access to the latest clinical trials and research on transplantation.  We are one of the few centers in the world to offer clinical trials for leukemia relapse and viral infections with cellular therapy.  We are also one of the few centers to perform extracorporeal photopheresis, a treatment for graft versus host disease (GvHD), on very young children.
  • Care at any age. We treat everyone from toddlers to young adults, intervening early and aggressively when we diagnose a child with a blood disease. We offer a wide range of treatments, including peripheral blood stem cell collection, a treatment to restore the immune system.
  • Child-centered care. We care for the whole child, providing support for your child’s physical, social and emotional well-being. Our child-centered care includes access to comfortable beds and entertainment for your child during his or her procedure. Caregivers are welcome to stay in the room with your child.
  • Safety and protection from illnesses. Our hospital features private HEPA-filtered isolation rooms and a specialized water system to ensure a high level of protection against infections.
  • Full spectrum of care. Your child’s care doesn’t end after the procedure. At our dedicated outpatient clinic, our bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients continue to receive care after discharge. Nurses taking care of our children are dedicated specifically to BMT.

Cellular Therapy Program

We are one of the few centers in the world to offer a pediatric cellular therapy program. The goals of cellular therapy after transplant are to help children fight infections and relapse. During cellular therapy, we:

  1. Take donor cells and manufacture them in the lab to fight specific viruses.
  2. Infuse the cells into the patient after the transplant.
  3. Patients (usually those at high risk for certain viral infections) now have the tools to fight the infections and can lower their risk for getting sick.
  4. Patients at risk for leukemia relapse can receive cells that may help lower the likelihood of relapse.

We are currently in the midst of a clinical trial using cells to fight infections. We will soon begin a similar program for fighting leukemia relapse. By manufacturing cells to prevent relapse, we can offer our patients the possibility of a more successful treatment. Learn more about our clinical trials

Our blood and marrow transplant team offers a high level of expertise, dedication, and compassion to our young patients. Each of our transplantation specialists has years of training and experience in transplantation procedures for children.

Our dedicated team collaborates regularly to ensure we are providing the most comprehensive care for your child:

  • Transplantation specialists
  • Hematologists
  • Nutritionist
  • Pharmacist
  • Education specialist (to help children keep up with schoolwork)
  • Music therapist
  • Yoga therapist
  • Social worker
  • Nurses
  • Psychologist
  • Child life specialists, healthcare providers who are specially trained in making sure your child’s hospital experience is comfortable and pleasant

Sickle Cell Disease Experts at Children’s National

We are one of the nation’s leading experts on sickle cell disease. Our expert pediatric specialists use the latest treatment protocols for our young patients. Features of our comprehensive care include:

  • High volume of patients. We do one of the highest volumes of transplantation procedures in the country for sickle cell patients. This results in a high level of expertise and experience for our team.
  • Unparalleled expertise. Many of our physicians have dedicated their entire careers to diagnosing and treating sickle cell disease in children. Patients come from all over the region, country, and even the world to receive excellent, personalized care from our team. 
  • Unrelated donor procedures. We are at the forefront of the latest advances in sickle cell disease treatment. The best donor match for a patient is usually a sibling because transplantation procedures from unrelated donors carry a higher risk of infection and graft versus host disease. Our team is skilled at performing these more complex procedures involving unrelated donors. 
  • Patient education. We regularly hold symposiums for families of children with sickle cell disease. We educate parents and families about living with the disease.

Christopher's Story

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ALL


Christopher Melkonian was six years old when he came down with a low-grade fever and diffuse bone pain. Unsure of what was happening, his parents Darlene and David took him to Children’s National Health System and soon found out that Christopher had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects white blood cells.

Christopher's Story

Blood and Marrow Transplantation Team

In This Section:

Cellular Therapy Program

Children’s National Health System is one of the few centers in the world to offer a cellular therapy program for children.


We design our health care with kids in mind, and deliver assurance when parents need it most.

Contact Information

Have a question about a specific disease or condition or treatments or services we offer?


We see children locally and globally who need the kind of specialized expertise and child-focused care we offer.

Meet the Team

Our providers represent medical and surgical specialties, family practice, and general pediatrics.

Related Care Services

Pediatric specialists work closely to ensure an integrated approach to care for each child and family.

Resources for Families

We offer resources for families to help answer questions and ease your child’s hospital experience.

Resources for Providers

We value the network of referring physicians and staff and offer resources for training and patient referral.


We provide a wide range of clinical services, specialties and treatments dedicated to improving children’s health.