Blood & Marrow Transplantation

At the University of Minnesota, our pediatric blood and marrow transplant (BMT) program has a legacy of changing perspectives around what is medically possible for children battling some the world’s most complex, life-threatening diseases.

Blood and marrow researcherOne recent example: In 2013, our physicians attempted to cure a pediatric patient of HIV and acute lymphoblastic leukemia via a cord blood transplant containing a variant of the cell surface protein CCR5, known as CCR5Δ32, that prevents most strains of the HIV virus from entering a patient’s T cells. 

Thanks to such innovations, our BMT program is known as one of the oldest, largest, and most respected pediatric blood and marrow transplant research programs in the world.

Research spotlight

Although the cord blood transplant is one of modern medicine's most amazing treatments, the procedure itself is quite simple when compared to major surgery like a joint replacement or solid organ transplant.

Milestones in the field

In 1968, University of Minnesota physicians completed the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant. Since then, other “world’s firsts” have followed, including:

  • The first transplant to treat a patient with lymphoma (1975)
  • The first transplant to treat an inherited metabolic disease (1982)
  • The first double umbilical cord blood transplant (1999)
  • The first umbilical cord blood transplant performed using preimplantation genetic testing to ensure a perfect tissue match (2000)
  • The first reported success in using Natural Killer (NK) cells to successfully treat advanced myelogenous leukemia