NYU Langone Health’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter cancer Center has opened a new facility to treat blood cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma. The new Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Center is located at 610 Second Avenue in Manhattan. It is part of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and the larger Center for Blood Cancers, Perlmutter Cancer Center. This center was funded by an investment of $75 million.
The new center, led by Samer Al-Homsi, MD, MBA, clinical professor in the Department of Medicine and executive director of the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Center at the Perlmutter Cancer Center, will provide patients with a health team and services that focus on blood and marrow transplants as well as cell therapy.
The new center is able to provide all services necessary for patients with blood cancer in Manhattan. It is operated by highly skilled professionals who specialize in bone marrow transplants aswell in the treatment of cells.
Dr. Samer Al-Homsi, MD, MBA, clinical professor in the Department of Medicine and executive director of the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Center at the Perlmutter Cancer Center
Dr. Al-Homsi joined Perlmutter Cancer Center in June 2017 and has led the expansion of the Perlmutter Cancer Center’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, which is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. The program is also a part of the National Marrow Donor Program. This registry, which includes 10 million potential donors, is operating across the globe. Dr. Al-Homsi has performed more than 400 transplants since his arrival at Perlmutter cancer Center. They have achieved remarkable results across the globe.
With a particular focus on half-matched transplants (also called haploidentical) the center has increased the potential donors for patients belonging to certain ethnic groups. The center can now offer transplants to nearly all patients in need regardless of race, age or ethnicity. This is done by combining new methods to avoid a complication known as GvHD, or graft-versus-host disease. (or GvHD) with enhanced supportive care. This can help to reduce an important healthcare gap.
“Half-matched transplants are a hope for populations that aren’t represented in the medical system including African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos who’s chance of finding a compatible donor in the Be The Match Registry is as just 35 percent as compared to an 80 percent chance for White patients,” Dr. Al-Homsi says. “From the beginning, we’ve been focusing on addressing this gap in healthcare to provide transplants to patients who would not have a donor.”
New center to perform transplants on as an outpatient basis
The main benefit of the new Transplantation and Therapy Center is the ability to conduct blood and bone marrow transplants on an outpatient basis. In the present, transplant patients are admitted to the hospital for three to 4 weeks. For certain patients, outpatient transplants could be possible. These include those who undergo autologous transplants, which use the stem cells of the patient’s own.
A patient with multiple myeloma was recently treated at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Hospital at Long Island. This was the first outpatient autologous transplant. Perlmutter Cancer Center plans to be the leader of outpatient autologous transplants in the New York City metro area.
Dr. Al-Homsi states that outpatient transplants are the most sought-after procedure in New York City and allow patients to remain at home with their loved ones.
The new center has four examination rooms, as well as an infusion center that has eight infusion chairs. The center also houses an apheresis laboratory that collects stem cells from donors for transplants. The center is home to a state of the-art stem cell processing laboratory that allows transplant specialists from Perlmutter cancer Center to bank and process stem cells on-site.
“The opening of the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Center in Washington is a further major step towards placing the center among the top in the country and making these services accessible to patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds,” Benjamin G. Neel MD, PhD, professor of Medicine and director of Perlmutter cancer Center.
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