Coronavirus Latest Updates

  • Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text Size
  • Increase Text Size
  • PDF

Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

Internationally Recognized BMT and Cellular Therapy Care

The internationally recognized Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and Cellular Therapy Program has saved lives and improved quality of life for thousands of patients. This FACT-Accredited Program (Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy) is part of the Cancer Center at Westchester Medical Center, flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, also a WMCHealth member. Its highly skilled, multidisciplinary team is dedicated to the therapeutic use of bone marrow, peripheral blood, cord blood and cellular therapy to treat malignant, non-malignant and blood-related disorders.

Its pioneering research and care represent the gold standard of preventive, diagnostic, innovative and therapeutic strategies. In addition, access to clinical trials offers promising new treatments.

Types of Bone Marrow Transplants

There are two types of transplants:

  • Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant (stem cells from the patient): To treat some diseases, a patient’s stem cells are removed and then reinfused into the body after receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation.
  • Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant (stem cells from a donor): For some diseases, patients cannot use their own stem cells for a transplant. They must use cells from a donor, either related or unrelated. If a patient does not have a relative available who is a match, doctors can search international donor registries and cord blood registries for an unrelated donor who provides a match. We also perform haploidentical and cord blood transplants.

We also offer cellular therapies that include chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T Cells), specific viral cytotoxic T-lymphocytes, and other forms of immune effector cell therapy.

Oldest and Most Active BMT Program in the Hudson Valley

Each day, the Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program gains expertise, builds resources and achieves breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer and blood disease. From bone marrow transplantation to stem cell and gene therapy, its specialized team blazes trails to pinpoint the cause, course of personalized treatment, and cure. The program remains the oldest and most active in the Hudson Valley and its trusted care has been accredited by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).


Accelerating the Match of Donors and Patients

The Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program is one of only a few approved in New York State to perform donor bone-marrow transplants for patients with lymphoblastic or myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other blood disorders. It also is one of a select group of centers in the nation that performs on-site DNA matching of potential donors. Providing this sophisticated analysis on site speeds matches of donors and patients.

Stem cells carry the astonishing potential to develop into different cell types, creating an internal repair network that replenishes cells without limit. For a baby or child with cancer or blood disease, an influx of healthy stem cells can restore the ability to produce healthy blood and immune cells, setting the patient on a course toward wellness.

In some cases, bone marrow must be replaced because it has been destroyed by high-dose chemotherapy; in other cases, the bone marrow is diseased. Stem cells in the bone marrow are responsible for the manufacture of red blood cells that carry oxygen, the white blood cells that fight infection and platelets that help blood clot.

Social workers, psychologists and child life specialists play a vital, unique role in assisting patients and their families during the diagnostic and treatment period and beyond. This affords the patient and family a consistent, welcoming support system.


Collection and Processing of Programs

We have a FACT-accredited collection program of donor cells and a FACT-accredited program for processing of bone marrow stem cells and immune effective cells. 


Quality at the Heart of Our Mission

Quality is the most important strategic component of the Pediatric and Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation Programs’ mission. The Pediatric and Adult BMT Quality Management Program is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and integrated plan that provides methods for oversight of quality pertaining to patient care and services, regular reviews, and audits of specific performance and outcome parameters, as well as methods to identify, evaluate, report, prevent, and correct errors, occurrences, accidents and adverse reactions in Pediatric and Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation recipients, Immune Effector Cell Recipients, Bone Marrow donors, and Peripheral Blood Stem Cells and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell donor collections.  


Diseases We Treat

The Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and Cellular Therapy Program focuses on many diseases. These include:

Malignant Diseases

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (Burkitt, Diffuse Large B-Cell, NK/T cell lymphomas and other forms of lymphoma including, Lymphoblastic, Anaplastic)
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Brain tumors
  • Sarcomas
  • Neuroblastomas
  • Wilms tumor
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Germ Cell Neoplasms

Non-Malignant Diseases

  • Amyloidosis
  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
  • Histiocytosis
  • Beta thalassemia
  • Bone Marrow Failure syndromes (Aplastic anemia)
  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • Immunodeficiencies (SCID, Wiskott-Aldrich, Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Myeloproliferative Diseases (MPD)
  • Sickle Cell Disease

Clinical Trials

More information coming soon.

Unique Features of our Program

The Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital offers specialized care using a variety of therapies. This trusted program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, the Children’s Oncology Group and the National Marrow Donor Program. It also is a member of the Pediatric Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Consortium (PTCTC), which supports research and education to improve the availability, safety and efficiency of hematopoietic cell transplantation and other cellular therapies for children and adolescents. This helps ensure availability of advanced treatment for patients.

Leading Programs and Services

Our programs and expert services include:

  • Regenerative Cell Therapy Program
  • The Cord Blood Transplantation Program
  • The Unrelated Adult Donor Stem Cell Program
  • The Haploidentical Stem Cell Program
  • Extracorporeal photopheresis, a therapy that involves immune cells that are treated with ultraviolet radiation to inactivate them from causing graft vs host disease (GvHD). This is the only program of its kind in the Hudson Valley.
  • On-site leukopheresis for peripheral stem-cell collection and bone marrow stem cell harvesting
  • T-cell Depletion and Stem Cell Selection Program (T-Cell Alpha Beta and CD-19 Depletion, and CD-34 Enrichment)
  • Approved CAR-T Cell Programs: virus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTELs), including Adenovirus, CVV, EVV, BKV, and COVID-19
  • Multidisciplinary programs
  • Long-Term Survivors Program
  • Ten pediatric and 11 adult HEPA filtered and positive pressure inpatient rooms, ensuring optimum environments for patients
  • Personalized and customized blood, marrow and cellular therapies.
  • Only GMP processing facility in the Hudson Valley

Westchester Medical Center/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital also is the lead institution for research organizations such as the T-Cell Leukemia Consortium, the NK/T Lymphoma Cell Therapy Consortium and the Sickle Cell Transplantation Consortium. 


The Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CTEL) at Westchester Medical Center consists of an advanced 6,800 square foot current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) facility housing  seven manufacturing or processing suites. Several processing suites contain highly advanced equipment, such as the Miltenyi Prodigy and CliniMacs Plus, Becton Dickinson Sterile Cell Sorter, and BD FACS CANTO II flow cytometer, in addition to a hematology analyzer, which can count different cell types (i.e. red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets) and is intended to facilitate and enhance cellular therapy (CT) manufacture under human somatic cell therapy investigational new drug applications (IND). Laboratory staff is dedicated to cellular therapy (CT) including anticancer and infectious diseases cellular therapy, regenerative cellular therapy and gene modified cellular therapy. 

The CTEL at WMC has an approved Tissue Bank license by NYS, approved by the Foundation of Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and the FDA for a variety of cell processing procedures. The CTEL laboratory fulfills all FDA requirements and Good Manufacturing Processing (cGMP) and Good Tissue Processing (GTP) requirements. 

The CTEL supports and collaborates with both the Pediatric and Adult blood and marrow stem cell transplantation and cell therapy programs. Its goal is to support other translational programs with a focus on oncology, hematology, urology, neurology, genetics and cardiovascular programs. The CTEL Medical Director, Mitchell Cairo, MD, has FDA approval for several clinical trials under IND, including Familial Haploidentical T-Cell depleted Transplantation in High Risk Sickle Cell Disease, and A Pilot Study of refractory Adenovirus (ADV) Infection with Related Donor ADV Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes (ADV-CTLs) in Children, Adolescents and Young Adult Recipients.

Current Cellular Therapy Products/Processing

  • Standard Hematopoetic Progenitor Cell (HPC) [Autologous and Allogeneic] processing and cryopreservation for both Adult and Pediatric Stem Cell transplant recipients 
  • Standard Donor Lymphocyte processing for Donor Lymphocyte Infusion in adult and pediatric patients 
  • CD34 enrichment of Allogenic Hematopoeitic progenitor Cells for HPC boosts for adult and pediatric recipients 
  • CD34 enrichment and mononuclear cell addback for adult and pediatric recipients of HLA disparate and/or unrelated stem cell transplant donors
  • T cell alpha/beta and CD19 depletion for adults and pediatric recipients of HLA disparate and/unrelated stem cell transplant donor 
  • Adenovirus cytotoxic T cell lymphocytes (ADV-CTLs) for adult and pediatric patients with medically refractory ADV infection
  • BK virus (BKV) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (BKV-CTLs) for adult and pediatric patients with medically refractory BKV infection
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) cytotoxic T lymphocytes for adult and pediatric patients with medically refractory CMV infection
  • Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (EBV-CTLs) for adult and pediatric patients with medically refractory EBV infection

Cellular Products/Processing in to Launch in 2021-2022

  • Directed cord blood (CB) collection, processing and cryopreservation
  • CB derived unrestricted somatic stem cells (USSC) for adult and children with steroid refractory graft versus host disease (GVHD) 
  • SARS-COV-2 cytotoxic T lymphocytes (SARS-CTLs) in adults with mild or moderate COVID-19 disease
  • Ex-vivo expanded Natural killer (NK) cells for adults and children with recurrent/refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Autologous CD19 CAR T-cells in adults with CD19 Mantle Cell Lymphoma and Diffuse Large Cell Lymphoma
  • Autologous CD19 CAR T cells for children with CD19 Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia CD20, ROR1, MCAM  CAR NK cells for adult and children with refractory hematological malignancies and solid tumors 
  • CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells for adult with diffuse Large T-cell Lymphoma  or Mantle Cell Lymphoma or children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
  • Anti-CD20, ROR1, MCAM CAR NK cells in adults and children with solid tumors and Leukemia/Lymphoma

Adult Care

A cancer diagnosis can be distressing for patients and their families. The Cancer Center at Westchester Medical Center is here to support you and your family through this journey. We offer patients and families a comprehensive variety of resources that includes assistance navigating and securing services, social-work expertise, nutritional education and support groups.

Navigational services are offered to our breast and lung cancer patients. Experienced, compassionate experts guide patients and caregivers from the very beginning of their cancer journey to ensure timely, appropriate access to care. They collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to coordinate screenings, diagnosis, treatment, referrals and other resources; these navigators are at your side to ensure a dignified patient experience throughout all phases of care. In addition, navigators support patients with plain-talk explanations and educational information to help them make informed decisions regarding treatment.

Psychologist and Neuropsychologist

Lila Pereira, PhD
Suzanne Braniecki, PhD

Clinical Pharmacists

Rick Sweeney, PharmD
Liana Klejmont, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS

Patient Education

Clinical Nurse Specialists
Carmel Sauerland, RN, MSN
Karen Wolownik, RN, MSN
Connie Leonick, RN, MSN

Transplant Coordinators and Patient Navigators
Patty McHale, RN
Isabel Gonzalez, RN, MSN, CPNP
Meghan Campbell, RN, MSN, C-FNP

Social Worker: Essential Assistance Tailored to Your Needs

A social worker specializing in cancer support assists patients and their families by providing emotional, psychosocial and social counseling, as well as information on practical issues, finances, transportation and support programs.

Support Groups

Two monthly support groups are available to patients:

  • The Living with Cancer Support Group, a safe place to inspire hope, share experiences, receive support and learn coping skills
  • The Survivorship Support Group, a key source of strength that improves quality of life

These groups are represented by patients with different types of cancer, including our bone marrow transplant survivors. Additional support groups are being planned for women facing breast or ovarian cancer. These support groups will accommodate English- and Spanish-speaking patients.

Cynthia Duncan, LMSW, Oncology Social Worker
Myrna Oliveras, Oncology Patient Navigator
Catherine Roimisher, NP, Lung and Breast Cancer Screening Navigator

For more information, please call 914.246.6600.

Registered Dietician: Protecting Health, Alleviating Symptoms

The registered dietician is available to provide information about specific nutritional needs during cancer treatment. He/she is here to answer your questions regarding weight loss or gain, poor appetite, taste changes, nausea, dry mouth, difficulties swallowing, diarrhea or constipation, etc. You will receive information, customized to your care, about vitamins, minerals and other natural health products.

For more information, please call 914.246.6600.

Survivorship Care

Upon completion of cancer treatment, every patient receives a survivorship care plan and information about helpful services. This includes a treatment summary, a detailed follow-up plan for medical, surgical or radiation treatment, how to best navigate the path ahead, additional resources that inspire hope, and what to expect in the long term. 

For more information, please call 914.246.6600.

Palliative Care and Patient Services and Resources

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with a serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The palliative medicine team at Westchester Medical Center works with your oncology team in the hospital to provide an extra layer of support and help manage symptoms and side effects from the illness or treatments. It is available at any stage of your illness.

Palliative care is often an essential part of your care, helping you remain in control of your life and care plan during your illness. Our goal is to improve quality of life for you and your family while receiving care at Westchester Medical Center.

For information, ask your Oncology team to make a referral when you are in the hospital or call 914.493.3112.

In addition, Westchester Medical Center offers vital, comforting support services to patients, families and visitors to ensure that each hospital stay is positive. Services include but are not limited to guest and special services, spiritual services and concierge and caregiver resources. Our compassionate team provides educational information, financial services, a helpful patient portal and more. To learn more, select “For Patients and Visitors” on the main navigation above.

The Caregiver Center provides vital, comforting support during times of need, stress and trauma for those who selflessly nurture others during medical crises. The Caregiver Center is a conduit to an array of services that are free. Teams also match caregivers to community resources ready to assist. They help determine the assistance needed, where to find it, and how to request and access it. The Caregiver Center, on Westchester Medical Center’s Main Concourse, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call 914.493.6800 for assistance or information.

Pediatric Care

WMCHealth provides a wealth of services designed to support pediatric patients and families during a stressful time. These helpful, and free, programs include:

  • Social Work Department
  • Support organizations
  • Support groups for teens and young adults
  • Resources for siblings
  • Resources for survivorship
  • Disease-specific resources
  • Financial-aid resources
  • Headwear and wigs
  • Camps
  • College financial aid

For more information about pediatric patient resources, including our Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy program and The Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, visit Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital: Internal Resources | External Resources.


The Cancer Center at Westchester Medical Center
19 Bradhurst Avenue
Suite 2575 South
Hawthorne, NY 10532

Adult Contacts
Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
WMC Cancer Center Director
19 Skyline Dr
Hawthorne, NY 10532
Phone: 914.594.2150

Amir Steinberg, MD
FACP, Clinical Director of Adult Stem Cell Transplant

Patti McHale


The Children and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center
19 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY 10532

Sandi Fabricatore, RN, MSN, PNP

Isabel Gonzalez, RN, MSN, PNP

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation


Overall Program Director

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD

Pediatric Program

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Director of the Pediatric Clinical Program

Oya Tugal, MD
Mehmet Ozkaynak, MD
Jessica Hochberg, MD
Jeremy Rosenblum, MD
Aliza Gardenswartz, MD
Katherine Pehlivan, MD
Jordan Milner, MD

Adult Program

Amir Steinberg, MD, FACP
Clinical Director of Adult Stem Cell Transplant

Tauseef Ahmed, MD (Adult)
Karen Seiter, MD (Adult)
Delong Liu, MD (Adult)

Transplant Nurse Coordinators

Patricia McHale, RN (Adult)
Meghan Campbell, RN, MSN, C-FNP (Pediatrics)
Isabel Gonzalez, RN, MSN, CPNP