Stories about: Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Notes from a nurse on the stem cell transplant unit

Stem cell transplant nurse with patient
Colleen caring for a child on 6W

I have worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for the last 10 years, the first two as a co-op and the last eight as a staff nurse — all on 6W. I just love this floor. We’re a small, 14-bed unit that provides longer-term care for children undergoing bone marrow transplants. We see different types of leukemia and other cancer and blood disorders such as neuroblastoma, aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. We also see other genetic, metabolic and hematologic diagnoses like CVID, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, SCID, adrenoleukodystrophy and sickle cell disease, some of which we treat with gene therapy. …Read More

Expert’s Corner: Evaluating a child for possible bone marrow failure syndrome

Bone marrowPediatricians face a difficult task determining when to refer a child for a suspected bone marrow failure syndrome. These syndromes are a group of disorders that typically share a few common features: low blood counts due to poor blood cell production, congenital anomalies and cancer predisposition. However, only a subset of children with bone marrow failure syndromes will present with the findings described in textbooks. These children often appear well and lack classical physical findings. The blood counts may even sometimes be normal or only drop intermittently, but remain at risk for malignancy. By the time a child looks sick, their marrow’s ability to produce blood cells can be so weakened that it could be too late – or at least much more difficult – to treat them successfully. …Read More