Cancer Transplant Program

Since performing its first bone marrow transplant on April 1, 1983, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its hospital partner, Nebraska Medicine, have evolved into one of the leading bone marrow/stem cell transplantation centers in the world.

As of March 2013, the program has performed 4,460 transplants in patients from all 50 states and more than a dozen countries -- 4,043 transplants in adults and 417 in children. Most adults have sought the treatment for cancers of the blood, in particular, lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma.  Pediatric transplants normally are performed for patients with more aggressive disease such as for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“We have an extraordinary team dedicated to improving cancer treatment and care. Their work has increased survival substantially in patients,” said Julie Vose, M.D., chief of the UNMC Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Neumann M. and Mildred E. Harris Professor. “Through the efforts of many, people now have access to some of the best cancer treatment in the world right here in Omaha.”

The adult transplant program, which was founded by Kearney, Neb., native, James Armitage, M.D., performed its first bone marrow transplant on April 1, 1983, while the pediatric transplant program was launched in 1987 by Peter Coccia, M.D. Anne Kessinger, M.D., of Scribner, Neb., pioneered stem cell transplantation. The therapy is now standard practice around the world.