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Fox Chase Bone Marrow Transplant Department One-Year Survival Outcomes Continue to Exceed Expectations

February 19, 2021

Dr. Fung, chair of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Cellular TherapiesDr. Fung, chair of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Cellular Therapies

PHILADELPHIA (February 19, 2021)—The Fox Chase-Temple University Hospital Department of Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Cellular Therapies has achieved the top performance category in successful transplant procedures, making it the second year in a row that the center has earned this distinction.

Each year, the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) performs a center-specific survival analysis providing one-year survival rates among 170 centers in the United States. The report contains outcomes for transplants using both related and unrelated donors. Center outcomes are identified as above, below, or similar to expected rates based on patient characteristics.

The CIBMTR identified Fox Chase as having one-year survival outcomes that were better than expected, a distinction it shares with only sixteen other centers across the nation. Fox Chase is the only center in the tristate area to achieve this result for two years in a row.

Henry Chi Hang Fung, MD, FACP, FRCPE, chair of the department, said the honor is due to several essential factors, including strong program leadership, an expert multidisciplinary team, and close collaboration with community physicians.

Fung added that a large referral base, like the one that the department has with St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania, is also a factor in the department’s success. Once transplants are completed at Fox Chase, patients are then able to return closer to home to receive follow-up care from St. Luke’s.

“That’s why we are successful, because we have the community doctors working together. Our radius of referral is about 200 miles. Probably about one-quarter of our transplants are from St. Luke’s,” Fung said.

Fung added that another component of the BMT department’s success is its CAR T-cell therapy program. “Cellular therapy with CAR T-cells is one of the promising breakthroughs of treatment,” he said. In CAR T-cell therapy, a lab modifies the patient’s red blood cells by adding a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and then reinfuses those cells into the patient’s body to attack cancer cells.

Fox Chase’s BMT department participates in several clinical trials involving CAR-T therapy. The most recent clinical trial resulted in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Tecartus, a specific CAR-T therapy, for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma. Fox Chase offers CAR-T therapy for all FDA-approved indications.

Although it is involved in a great deal of cutting-edge research, Fung said the main reason the department is flourishing is its approach to patient care. “The patient is not the diagnosis, and they have many different treatment options,” he said. “We are very successful because we don’t isolate a patient as a transplant patient. We look at a patient as a whole.”

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

 

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