Bone marrow transplant program

At Children’s Wisconsin, our bone marrow transplant program is both comprehensive and compassionate. Patients and their families trust our bone marrow transplant program to deliver cutting-edge treatment and technology through a highly individualized care plan catered to each child.

Our dedicated clinical team has decades of experience using bone marrow transplants to treat certain cancers, such as leukemias and lymphomas, and many other diseases, including immune deficiencies and dysregulation disorders, and other nonmalignant diseases, including hemoglobinopathies. Our strong research arm has open clinical trials related to bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy, offering our patients access to the latest, most advanced treatments.

Clinical care

Led by program director Julie-An Talano, MD, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, our dedicated bone marrow transplant team includes board-certified physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, pharmacists, child life specialists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists and other support specialists. Through Children’s Wisconsin, our patients also have access to a wide variety of medical specialties, including infectious disease care, critical care, cardiology, pulmonology, dermatology, gastroenterology and radiology.

Whether your child is referred from within Children’s Wisconsin or from another provider, your family’s first point of contact with our bone marrow transplant team is your personal intake coordinator. When your coordinator schedules your family’s initial consultation with our bone marrow transplant team, they will start the process of finding a bone marrow donor. We’ll begin by testing family members—with a blood draw or cheek swab—in search of a potential match. If a related donor is unavailable, we’ll search national and international bone marrow registries for donors with close tissue matches. It’s important to note that almost all patients have an available donor—and our team has expertise with a variety of transplant approaches and sources, including bone marrow, peripheral blood and cord blood.

The first visit

At your initial consultation at our clinic in the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, you’ll meet our bone marrow transplant team to discuss a treatment plan and care goals. If Children’s Wisconsin is participating in an open clinical trial for a potential new treatment that suits your child’s needs, we’ll talk about getting enrolled. Our program only participates in clinical trials that we believe offer our patients the best and most promising treatment options.

While each patient is assigned a primary transplant doctor to lead their treatment process from start to finish, our care model is based on a team approach. Our entire bone marrow transplant team meets each week to discuss every patient and share perspectives on cases. So all of our providers will be familiar with your child’s case, and the multiple perspectives will provide the best chance for the positive transplant outcome we all want. 

The transplant

Before the bone marrow transplant, each patient undergoes several days of testing. The tests ensure there are no underlying infections or other health issues that would impact the procedure. Then the patient receives chemotherapy and/or radiation in the hospital to prepare the body and immune system for transplant. Finally, during the transplant itself, stem cells are given to the patient through an IV. Our multidisciplinary team rounds on each patient daily throughout the entire process.

Most bone marrow transplant patients spend about 30 to 40 days in the hospital. To make this time as comfortable as possible for patients and their families, we offer in-hospital amenities including a family kitchen, a teen lounge, recreational therapy and even pet therapy.


Our bone marrow transplant research team has been conducting clinical studies for decades. One of our major focus areas is performing transplants and removing T cells (alpha beta T cells) during the graft processing procedure. This reduces the likelihood of a transplant complication called graft-versus-host disease, which is when the new cells cause problems in the patient. We can also avoid giving patients medications after the transplant with this process. By building on multiple studies and trials, our research program has helped minimize severe graft-versus-host infections and improved patient survival outcomes.

Our research team constantly updates our open clinical trials to give our bone marrow transplant patients the best and most cutting-edge care.

For appointments or for more information about bone marrow transplant, call (414) 266-2420.