Medical services

About This Program

The Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Program is designed to service patients and physicians. It combines the transfusion and transplantation medicine expertise necessary to meet the region’s emerging need for peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

When compared to bone marrow transplantation, this procedure:

  • speeds reconstitution of hematopoiesis following marrow ablative or near ablative high dose chemotherapy and/or radiation
  • decreases the need for blood component therapy
  • reduces treatment costs and length of hospital stay
  • speeds patient recovery

We provide apheresis collection, product assessment and quality control, cryopreservation, storage, and reinfusion support. Patients receive comforting, expert care in a pleasant environment.

The Stem Cell Program Goal

From patient orientation through the reinfusion process, Blood Center nurses and technical staff offer patients more than just another procedure in the course of their treatment. Our caring and professional staff are ready with a warm smile at a difficult time, a clear explanation of a complicated procedure, and the reassurance of the best possible care. For patients, this combination of expertise and personalized care contributes to peace of mind and heightened confidence in their overall care program.

With highly individualized patient care, patients have their own nurse and have the option of having a friend or relative with them during the collection procedure.

During the collection process Blood Center Staff:

  • monitor the patient during the stem cell mobilization phase
  • collect cells by leukapheresis (at the Blood Center or a hospital) to meet the protocol’s target count
  • provide CD34 counts, cryopreserve, quality test, and store the cells
  • provide collection results immediately to the physician
  • support the stem cell reinfusion process at the hospital. A stem cell technologist transports the stem cells to the patient’s bedside, thaws the cells and provides technical assistance until the infusion is complete

Quality Assurance and Cryopreservation

The Northwest Tissue Services’s Stem Cell Processing Laboratory is where stem cells are evaluated for engraftment potential and cryopreserved.

A Stem Cell technologist assays the stem cells by flow cytometry following standards recommended by the International Society for Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering (ISHAGE). CD34 test results are usually available within three hours after stem cell collection.

The technologist aseptically processes the stem cells under a laminar airflow hood. The stem cells are cryopreserved in a controlled-rate freezer and stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen.

Upon request, the Northwest Tissue Services also provides processing, storage, and assays of stem cells collected by outside healthcare facilities. These stem cells will be returned to the collection facility for reinfusion.

Enhancing Patient Care Through Comprehensive Reporting

Drawing on our expertise in analysis, quality assurance, cryopreservation, and collection, the Blood Center provides extensive reporting on each patient. We also maintain complete database records on all patients as well as a collective summary record of patient results.

Arranging Stem Cell Support for Your Patient

The Blood Center offers flexible collection scheduling – seven days a week. Contact our Medical Director to discuss your patient’s prescribed treatment protocol and to initiate the process.

To refer a specific patient, providers are asked to:

  • obtain patient consent
  • call the stem cell technologist to schedule the collection procedure
  • complete the Request for Collection and Storage form at least five days before the anticipated date of the first collection

Your gift of blood, time or money saves lives.