St. David's HealthCare - October 18, 2016

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center recently performed Austin’s first allogeneic stem cell transplant, a type of hematopoietic stem cell or bone marrow transplant (BMT). Allogeneic BMTs are procedures during which stem cells from a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) compatible donor are harvested, stored and transplanted into the patient after the patient receives high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Allogeneic BMT procedures are designed to treat a variety of blood cancers and diseases by suppressing the disease and restoring the patient’s immune system.

During an allogeneic stem cell transplant, stem cells can be acquired from a related or unrelated donor who is HLA-matched. Siblings usually provide the best match, although a patient’s parent or child (over the age of 18) may also be tested to determine if he or she is an adequate match. Unrelated donors are identified via the National Marrow Donor Program.

For Trey Soto, stem cells from his sister saved his life. Soto was one of the first patients to receive an allogeneic stem cell transplant at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare and aggressive bone marrow cancer.

According to Aravind Ramakrishnan, M.D., BMT physician with the Texas Transplant Institute at the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, this is an important milestone for the development of bone marrow transplant care in Central Texas. Previously, patients would need to relocate to Houston, San Antonio or Dallas for three to four months for treatment.

In 2014, physicians at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center performed the first autologous transplant, which uses the patient’s own stem cells.

Now, with the addition of allogeneic stem cell transplants, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center offers the complete continuum of care for blood-related malignancies in Austin, and Central Texas patients who are battling blood cancers can get the care they need close to home.

Watch the video to learn more about Soto’s story.

Video access for St. David's HealthCare employees