Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Acute Leukemia

Bone marrow aspirate showing AML. Several blasts have Auer rods. Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Dr. Joseph McGuirk is Director for the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Acute Leukemia Site Team. He is also Medical Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. BMT procedures are life-saving treatments for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other related blood diseases.  Established in 1977, the BMT program celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2012. The team has performed more than 1,800 transplants in that time.  The team also trains Hematology Oncology Fellows, and we offer a one year BMT Fellowship Program.

The Blood and Marrow Transplant program at The University of Kansas Cancer Center continues to expand and provide more life-saving treatments.

  • BMT staff performed a record 230 transplants in calendar year 2012, a 7 percent increase from 2011.
  • The number of photopheresis treatments - a procedure for patients with graft-versus-host disease - jumped 27 percent to 1,915, the most ever.
  • The BMT team performed 28 transplants in August, a record month. March also saw a record number of BMT referrals, 44.
  • The number of new BMT patients enrolled in clinical trials totaled 91 in 2012, up 4.6 percent. Clinical trials are an important factor in the cancer center's application as a comprehensive National Cancer Institute facility, the next level of NCI designation.
  • Even while treating more patients, BMT staff continued to provide excellent care. Units 41 and 42 achieved an overall patient satisfaction score at the 94th percentile in 2012, up from 90th in 2011.

"The success we continue to achieve with the BMT program is due to our outstanding physicians, clinical staff and support staff," said Joseph McGuirk, DO, BMT medical director. "Working as a team, we are able to save more lives every day."

Learn more about different hematologic cancers and treatments:


Clinial Trials

There are many clinical trials at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.  Please select the links below to learn more.

Featured Trial:

BMT Trials:

BMT I  Leukemia, Other I Lymphoid Leukemia I Myeloid and Monocytic Leukemia I Clinical Trial Main Page  


Patient Story

The Susan Varner Story: When Susan was first admitted to The University of Kansas Cancer Center's Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit this past year, our family was immediately impressed with the knowledge, efficiency, and assurance they provided. Dr. Ganguly was not only expecting our arrival, but was already familiar with Susan's case, and instantly made us feel as though the team was in control of her situation. By the end of her first day there, we had a plan established for her treatment, and diagnostic screenings. Because of the rarity of Susan's disease, we knew we needed to be in a cutting edge facility that could offer her the most advanced options possible. Her case was treated with urgency, and expertise. We were impressed by the BMT team's willingness to consult with experts worldwide to come up with the best possible solutions for Susan. This proved to us that we were in the right place, and that Susan's case truly mattered to her doctors. To this day, we remain grateful for the matchless quality of care Susan received from her doctors and nurses during her stay in the University of Kansas Cancer Center's BMT unit. We continue to be impressed with the progress, and truly innovative research being done to improve treatments, and eradicate the effects of blood cancer at both the University of Kansas Cancer Center, and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Contact Carol Webb, at cwebb2@kumc.edu to submit your story.

Last modified: Sep 02, 2014
BMT 2015 Symposium

The University of Kansas Cancer Center Presents

Advances in Blood and Marrow Transplantation: 2015 Symposium. 

  • April 11th, 2015
  • More information to come
BMT Support Groups

Cancer Action: For programs and services of persons with cancer, their family, and friends

Gilda's Club: Support for all cancers and stage

Turning Point: Support for serious or chronic physical illness in the KC area

Cruise for Suz

Cruise for Suz is a bicycle ride to support lymphoma research at the University of Kansas and to honor the life of Susan Varner. To learn more information or if you would like to dontate please click here.

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