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Cellular Therapy and Stem Cell Transplantation

Internationally Recognized BMT and Cellular Therapy Care

Director's message:

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.

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation
Director, Children and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center
Director, WMC Cancer Center 
Medical and Scientific Director, WMC Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
Medical Director, WMC Hematotherapy Program
Vice  Chairman, Department of Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Pathology, Microbiology
& Immunology and Cell Biology & Anatomy, 
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Westchester Medical Center (WMC)
New York Medical College

Clinical Trials

View a list of current Clinical Trials.

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.

Types of Cellular Therapies

We also offer cellular therapies that include:

  • Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T Cells)
  • Specific viral cytotoxic T-lymphocytes
  • 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 unrelated donor bone-marrow transplants for patients with lymphoblastic or myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other blood disorders. 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 Programs (Bone-Marrow, Peripheral Blood)

As part of the Westchester Medical Center Cancer Center, the Hematotherapy Department provides outpatient transfusion and infusion services for both adult and pediatric hematology/oncology patients at Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. We provide personalized, high quality care for a large variety of malignancies including ALL, AML, CML, JMML, NHL, HL, MDS, MM, neuroblastoma, brain tumors, Wilms Tumor, germ cell tumors, sarcomas and more. Patients are treated with transfusion of blood and blood products and administrated chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy. We collect cord blood from the placenta at delivery and we collect bone marrow in the operating room under general anesthesia. We perform Autologous and Allogeneic Cellular Therapy collections as well as Mononuclear cell collections used to generate cytotoxic t-lymphocytes for the treatment of post transplantation infections. We are approved to treat patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and a variety of B-cell lymphomas with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells. Therapeutic Plasmapheresis is used to reduce donor specific antibodies. Extracorporeal Photopheresis is used for the treatment of acute and chronic Graft vs. Host Disease and CTCL.

Our Cellular Therapy program is fully accredited by NYDOH, FDA and FACT (Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy).

The Outpatient Hematotherapy Department has a total of seven ONS/ONCC Chemotherapy/Immunotherapy certified RN staff who are qualified through training and experience in pediatric and adult care as well as apheresis, photopheresis and Cellular Therapy Collection processes. On-site medical supervision is provided by our team of Hematology/Oncology physicians under the direction of the program medical director.

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

An asterisk indicates our practice is involved in a clinical trial associated with the disease. View our current clinical trials here.

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

Malignant Diseases

Non-Malignant Diseases

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, CMV, EBV, 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, is approved by the Foundation of Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for more than minimal manipulation (view on factglobal.org), and is approved by 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.

Westchester Medical Center now offers FDA-approved CAR T-Cell Therapies that use your own immune system to fight certain types of cancer.   

CAR T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy that involves using your own immune cells to fight your cancer. The specific immune cells (T-Cells) are isolated from the blood stream and genetically modified to produce new cells called chimeric antigen receptors (CARS) T-cells. Once these new CAR T-cells are reinfused back into the body, they are able to target and attack your cancer cells.


CAR T-Cell Therapy Products

There are several different types of CAR T-cell therapy products for treatment of the following diseases:

Kymriah® (Novartis): https://kymriah.com

DLCBL: Adult patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, high grade B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.

B-Cell ALL: Patients up to 25 years of age with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is refractory or in second or later relapse.

Tecartus® (Kite): https://www.tecartus.com

MCL: Adult patients with relapsed or refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

Yescarta® (Kite): https://www.yescarta.com

DLCBL: Adult patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, high grade B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.

Follicular Lymphoma: Adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

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
  • SARS-COV-2 cytotoxic T lymphocytes (SARS-CTLs) in adults with mild or moderate COVID-19 disease
  • Autologous CD19 CAR T-cells in adults with CD19 Mantle Cell Lymphoma and Diffuse Large Cell Lymphoma
  • Allogeneic 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 

Cellular Products/Processing in to Launch in 2022-2023

  • 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) 
  • Ex-vivo expanded Natural killer (NK) cells for adults and children with recurrent/refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Anti-CD20, ROR1, MCAM CAR NK cells in adults and children with solid tumors and Leukemia/Lymphoma

Multidisciplinary and Continuum of 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
Olivia Dumont, PharmD

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
Megan Campbell, RN, MSN, C-FNP
Claire McGuire, RN, MSN, FNP


Sandi Fabricatore, RN, MSN, PNP
Rose Shaw, RN

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.

Cynthia Kamajian-Duncan (Adults)
Barbara McLain (Pediatrics)
Briana Ghelarducci, MSW (Pediatrics)

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

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.

Tauseef Ahmed, MD
Medical Director

Jessica Hochberg, MD
Medical Director

Brittany Huber, RN, MSN, CPNP
Nurse Coordinator

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
  • Summer Camps

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.

Success Stories

CBS2 | 8-Year-Old Named Ambassador At Maria Fareri Children's Hospital After Beating Back Blood Disease And Rare Brain Syndrome

NBC4 | 8-Year-Old Sickle Cell Ambassador

A Kindergartner With Aplastic Anemia Is Saved By Her Younger Sister


Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley provides families with critically ill and traumatically injured children an atmosphere of comfort, hope and courage, keeping them close to the care and resources they need. The House has 12 bedrooms that are filled to capacity almost every night. We also provide meals, laundry and respite services for our families during their stay. Located on the campus of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, the House is just steps away from the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Since it opened in 2011, more than 2,000 families have called our House their home. More information.


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

Adult Contacts
Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
WMC Cancer Center Director
WMC Cellular Therapy and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program Director
Email: Mitchell_Cairo@nymc.edu
19 Skyline Dr
Hawthorne, NY 10532
Phone: 914.594.2150

Amir Steinberg, MD
FACP, Clinical Director of Adult Stem Cell Transplant
Email: Amir.Steinberg@wmchealth.org

Patti McHale
Email: Patricia.McHale@wmchealth.org


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

Allyson Flower, MD
Clinical Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program
Clinical Director Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Programs

Megan Campbell, FNP-C

Isabel Gonzalez, RN, MSN, PNP

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

Hematotherapy (Adults and Pediatrics)

The Westchester Medical Center Hematotherapy Department
19 Bradhurst Avenue
Suite 2200N
Hawthorne, NY 10532

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Medical Director

Overall Program Director

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD

Pediatric Program

Allyson Flower, MD
Clinical Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program
Clinical Director Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Programs

Oya Tugal, MD
Mehmet Ozkaynak, MD
Jessica Hochberg, MD
Jeremy Rosenblum, MD
Andrew Bellantoni, MD
Edo Schaefer, MD
Clinical Director, Hemoglobinapathy (Sickle Cell) Program
Co-Medical Director, Primary Immunodeficiency Program
Clinical Director, Bone Marrow Failure Programs
Aliza Gardenswartz, MD

Inpatient Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Maggie Londano, RN, MSN, CPNP
Kary Haro RN, MSN, CFNP
Lesley Fuentes, RN, MSN, CPNP
Ashley Boston, RN, MSN, CPNP
Emily Malaspina, RN, MSN, CPNP

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)

Inpatient Adult Nurse Practitioners

Stephanie Danyko, RN, MSN, CFNP

Collection Program (Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood)

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Medical Director

Rose Shaw, RN
Nursing Manager

William Bergen, RN
Assistant Nursing Manager

Clinical Pharmacists
Richard Sweeney, PharmD (Adults)
Clinical Pharmacist

Olivia Dumont, PharmD (Pediatrics)
Clinical Pharmacist

Transplant Nurse Coordinators

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

Cellular Therapy Program (Pediatrics and Adults)

Amir Steinberg, MD, FACP
Clinical Director for Adult Stem Cell Transplantation

Allyson Flower, MD
Clinical Director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Aliza Gardenswartz, MD
Pediatric Hematological Malignancies Program
Cell Therapy and Stem Cell Transplantation

Cell Therapy Coordinators

Patty McHale, RN (Adult)

Isabel Gonzalez, CPNP (Pediatrics) 

Megan Campbell, FNP-C (Pediatrics) 

Sandra Fabricatore, RN, MSN, CPNP
Quality Nurse Coordinator

Social Workers

Cynthia Kamajian-Duncan (Adults)
Barbara McLain (Pediatrics)
Briana Ghelarducci, MSW (Pediatrics)