Blood and Marrow Transplant for Sickle Cell Disease

Blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) is currently the only available treatment that can cure sickle cell disease, but only 20 to 30 percent of children who need a transplant have a matching sibling who can donate. To expand your child’s donor options, Children’s National Health System created a specialized program for allogeneic BMT1 for sickle cell disease.

Choosing the Children’s National BMT Program for Your Care

The BMT Program for Sickle Cell Disease is led by Allistair Abraham, M.D., one of the nation’s foremost transplant experts dedicated to sickle cell disease. Dr. Abraham leads one of the largest BMT centers for sickle cell disease in the United States. In fact, more than 50 children with sickle cell disease have received transplants through our renowned program.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Care

Our patients benefit from a highly specialized team with more than 20 years of experience performing BMT for sickle cell disease. This team is a collaboration between our expert hematologists (blood disease specialists) and our blood and marrow transplant specialists. In addition, patients receive comprehensive care from experts in heart (cardiologists), lung (pulmonologists), brain (neurologists), growth and development (endocrinologists) and emotional health (psychologists), who have been a part of the multidisciplinary team caring for sickle cell patients before, during and years after BMT.   

Additionally, your child will receive care from a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, chaplains and physical therapists.

To learn more about how our team works together, we've created a step-by-step guide of the BMT process, detailing your child's diagnosis, treatment and long-term care:

View the stem cell transplant timeline.

Discovering New Treatments for Sickle Cell Disease

At Children's National, we continue to pioneer transplant therapies that can cure sickle cell disease. We also collaborate with other major centers focused on this disease and are involved in clinical trials and national research initiatives designed to provide the best treatment outcomes for children and to expand the use of transplantation for sickle cell disease.

Our current areas of focus include:

  • Using reduced doses of chemotherapy to minimize short-term and long-term side effects of blood and marrow transplantation
  • Studying “half-matched” donors for transplant. If this study proves to be successful, almost every patient with sickle cell disease could be cured, as they’ll have at least one sibling or a parent who could be a half-matched donor

Contact Us

For more information about BMT for sickle cell disease, please call 202-476-5456.

Glossary of Terms

1 Allogeneic Transplant: A transplant using a tissue matched or partially matched to a related or unrelated donor

View full glossary

Clinical Trial Cures 6-Year-Old Boy With Sickle Cell Disease

Patient Bryce appears with his mother.

The Root spotlights Bryce, a Children's National patient, who took place in our ground-breaking clinical trial.

Learn more