St. Louis, MO May 2012 – Saint Louis University Hospital will break ground this week on the first comprehensive outpatient bone marrow transplant center in the region. This will be the only bone marrow transplant center that can provide patients the option to receive their bone marrow transplant predominantly in an outpatient setting, therefore avoiding a lengthy inpatient hospital stay.
The center will be located within the Saint Louis University Cancer Center on the main hospital’s campus. Having the clinical expertise and facility to be able to offer this service will enable the hospital and physicians to provide better care and often better outcomes for many transplant patients.
The new center will be led by Friedrich G. Schuening, M.D., Director, Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Saint Louis University Cancer Center. Bone marrow transplants are used to restore the stem cells when the bone marrow has been destroyed by disease, chemotherapy (chemo), or radiation. The treatment is used to treat diseases such as leukemia, lymph node tumors, aplastic anemia, multiple myeloma, and certain inherited blood diseases.
“The Bone Marrow Transplant program at Saint Louis University Hospital offers hope for cancer patients who have failed with other treatments,” notes Dr. Schuening. “Bone marrow transplantation has revolutionized the treatment of these blood cancer diseases and provides an opportunityto aggressively treat the disease.” Patients with different types of blood diseases could be eligible for the procedure.
The skilled physicians of Saint Louis University work hand-in-hand as a multi-disciplinary team. According to Dr. Schuening, “We have a very complex and talented team which includes nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, counselors and many others who make the patient experience seamless and successful. We are patient and family focused and can address all of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of care.”
One of the goals for the program is to increase patient access to a quality bone marrow transplant program. SLU Hospital works closely with oncology groups throughout the Midwest to enhance the awareness of new treatments and care options that often increase positive outcomes for cancer patients who may live in rural areas.
“Providing access to care to all patients who require a tertiary level of treatment is a critical part of our mission at Saint Louis University Hospital,” says Phillip E. Sowa, Chief Executive Officer. “We work with a large network of physicians and hospitals throughout Missouri and Illinois to ensure collaboration of care so all patients are treated appropriately and cared for in the best possible way, clinically and compassionately.”
Many patients who come to Saint Louis University Hospital are able to stay at the Hospital’s Auxiliary House, located just north of the campus. The new bone marrow transplant clinic at Saint Louis University Hospital will be fully operational by this fall. Since Dr. Schuening joined SLUCare in 2011, there has already been a marked increase in bone marrow transplant patients seen at the SLU Cancer Center.
About Saint Louis University Hospital Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-licensed bed quaternary/tertiary referral center located in the heart of the city of St. Louis. Approximately 75 percent of our patients are drawn from a 150-mile radius of the hospital, and the rest come to us from outside this 150-mile area. Through our affiliation as the teaching hospital for Saint Louis University, we provide our patients and their families with an environment of medical innovation. We are smaller than most major academic medical centers, which allows our physicians and staff the chance to know our patients and their families better. Working with us in this endeavor are our medical staff partners, SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. The hospital admits more than 17,000 patients annually, performs more than 200 organ transplants a year and is a Level I Trauma Center that treats more than 2,000 major trauma cases a year.
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