Patient Referral

Patients can be referred to the Adult Blood Cancer and Stem Cell Transplant Clinic by calling (210) 575-7800.

Blood Cancer

Blood or marrow stem cell transplants are performed for individuals who have diseased marrow or who will be receiving high doses of cancer therapy which will damage the marrow. Among the most common types of blood cancers treated with a transplant are lymphoma, myeloma and leukemias.

Stem Cell Transplant Program

The Adult Blood Cancer and Stem Cell Transplant Program at Texas Transplant Institute, a department of Methodist Hospital, is one of the most preferred programs in the United States. Our program completes over 200 blood or marrow stem cell transplants each year. The medical team has completed over 2,400 blood or marrow stem cell transplants, or BMTs, since the program’s inception in 1993.

Certified by the national marrow donor program, our program ranks in the top 20% in the nation in volumes from allogeneic transplants. The program consistently ranks among the nation’s top transplant centers in one-year allogeneic stem cell transplant patient survival rates among all transplant centers in Texas (Source: 2013 CIMBTR Transplant Specific Survival Rates) and is a member of the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Research Network. Our Blood Cancer and Stem Cell Transplant Programs are committed to bringing you new and innovative investigational treatment options.

Our clinics offer full service for bone marrow biopsies, chemotherapy infusions, transfusion, stem cell transplant evaluations and infusions and other procedures.

The transplant physician will discuss with the patient which type of transplant will provide the best clinical outcome. The following types of transplants are performed routinely at Methodist Hospital by Texas Transplant Institute blood and marrow stem cell transplant or BMT physicians:

  • Autologous stem cell transplant: stem cells are collected, stored and re-infused back to the same patient after high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments.
  • Tandem autologous transplant: also known as a double autologous transplant, this procedure requires the patient to undergo two planned autologous stem cell transplants within six months. Stem cells are collected once before the initial transplant and half are used for each procedure. The second transplant is performed after recovery from the first procedure.
  • Allogeneic stem cell transplant: stem cells are taken from one person and given to another. The patient receives stem cells from a matched or partially matched family member, an unrelated donor or umbilical cord blood.
  • Umbilical cord blood transplant: utilizes stem cells which have been collected from a clamped, separated umbilical cord following delivery. The stem cells are then processed and frozen until transplantation.

The adult blood and marrow stem cell transplant program at Texas Transplant Institute, a department of Methodist Hospital, provides state-of-the-art clinical care offering blood and marrow stem cell transplantation using the latest technology and research protocols. Our transplant specialists have extensive experience performing autologous, allogeneic, related and unrelated donor transplants. In our outpatient clinic, staff can perform bone marrow biopsies, catheter placements, chemotherapy infusions, transfusions, transplants and other procedures.

Indications for Treatment

Bone marrow and stem cell transplants are often performed as treatment for various diseases and conditions, including:

  • Amyloidosis
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Hemaglobinopathies
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Leukemia (acute and chronic)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Testicular cancer

A blood or marrow stem cell transplant requires a thorough consultation with your physician and a referral to the Texas Transplant Institute. Physicians may refer patients to be evaluated for a blood or marrow stem cell transplant by contacting our transplant specialists at (210) 575-3817 or (800) 298-7824.

Once patients are referred, the transplant team schedules the patient’s first visit to the clinic. During that time, the patient and their family will meet their transplant physician and will spend a significant amount of time with other transplant professionals who will further educate the patient regarding the option of transplantation.

If the patient, family and transplant team determine that a transplant is the best option, the patient will undergo testing to complete the evaluation process. The type of transplant most appropriate will determine how quickly the procedure can be performed.

Private insurance, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, may provide coverage for blood or marrow stem cell transplants. Some costs may not be fully reimbursed. Financial coordinators and social workers will work with the patient to ensure they understand their coverage benefits and help minimize out of pocket expenses through accessing various community resources.

Recipients of bone marrow stem cell transplants, or BMT, are closely followed in the clinic on a daily basis after their operation to ensure there are no infections or rejections. The patient may still feel too weak to fully engage in normal activities for several weeks, but are encouraged to continue participating in daily activities as tolerated to increase strength and energy.

Allogeneic transplant recipients are at risk for developing graft-versus-host-disease (GHVD). With this condition, the new bone marrow stem cells begin fighting against, or ‘rejecting’ the patient's tissues. To minimize the risk of GVHD, patients are prescribed immunosuppressive or ‘anti-rejection’ medications.

The chances of infection and rejection are highest during the first month post stem cell transplant when the medications taken to suppress the immune system are at their peak effectiveness. Patients may be required to wear a mask to limit the risk of infection that could lead to rejection.

Transplant patients are required to have routine follow up visits with the transplant physician in the transplant clinic. The frequency of those visits will be discussed at the time of transplant. You will be informed when you are able to return to your oncologist for continued care.

All resources available to the patient and family pre-transplant, including but not limited to the oncology support group, social worker, dietitian, financial coordinator and hospital chaplain are also available on an unlimited basis post-transplant.

Adult Blood Cancer and Stem Cell Transplant Physicians

Paul J. Shaughnessy, MD
Medical Director, Adult Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Program
Adult Blood Cancers and Stem Cell Transplant Physician

Jose Carlos Cruz, MD
Adult Blood Cancers and Stem Cell Transplant Physician

Cesar O Freytes, MD
Adult Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Physician

Behyar Zoghi, MD, PhD
Adult Blood Cancers and Stem Cell Transplant Physician

Ju-Hsien John Chao, DO
Adult Blood Cancers and Stem Cell Transplant Physician

Maria J Oliu, APRN, FNP-C
Nurse Practitioner

Alyssa A. Bobinger PA-C, MSPAS
Physician Assistant

Rachel Pacholski, MPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

Clinic Locations

John E. Hornbeak Building

4450 Medical Dr, First Floor
San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone: (210) 575-3817
Toll Free: (800) 298-7824
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Outreach Clinics - Adult Program

Corpus Christi Medical Center Campus
3240 Ft. Worth St, Suite 109
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
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Rio Grande Regional Hospital
101 E. Ridge Rd, First Floor
McAllen, TX, 78503
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