The Blood Connection provides processing and storage of cellular therapy products that predominately include, hematopoietic progenitor cells. These cells are also called stem cells. They are the source of all the body’s blood cells and are found in most abundance in a person’s bone marrow. However, with administration of bone marrow mobilization medication, a good number of the cells can be found and extracted from a person’s blood stream. These blood forming cells are used to treat a variety of life-threatening diseases originating in or involving the bone marrow. Such diseases include myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma.
The Blood Connection receives the stem cells after they are collected by a local hospital. The cells are counted, classified, and prepared for infusion or if the cells are not infused within 24 hours they are prepared for freezing.
A recipient’s bone marrow is ablated through the use of radiation and chemotherapy. The blood forming cells are then transfused (or transplanted) in order to reconstitute or replace the recipient’s own bone marrow. Provided all the diseased cells are removed in the ablative stage, and the patient’s immune system does not reject the transplanted cells, these healthy stem cells are able to successfully engraft and the patient regains a healthy bone marrow.
Lillia Holmes, MS Director, Cellular Therapy Processing