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 the Medical Director for the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) and Acute Leukemia Site Team. He is also Division Director of HMCT. 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 3,000 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 program performs over 300 transplants per year.
  • The number of photopheresis treatments - a procedure for patients with graft-versus-host disease - jumped 27 percent to 1,915, the most ever.
  • 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 41/42/45 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:

Clinical Trials

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

Contact our Clinical Trial Nurse Navigator:
Phone: 913-945-7552

Leukemia Featured Trial:

BMT 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 to submit your story.

Last modified: Sep 30, 2016
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