DIAD: Division of Immunotherapy for Autoimmune Diseases
Feinburg School of Medicine

THERAPIES & RESEARCH: Transplant Overview
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Dr. Burt performs America’s first hematopoietic stem cell transplant in multiple sclerosis at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Burt performs America’s first for Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
In September 2000, the Division of Immunotherapy, under the Department of Medicine was formed. It is headed by Dr. Richard Burt, an early pioneer in the field. The division has performed more than 200 transplants for autoimmune diseases and is the world leader in the field.


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the transplantation of blood stem cells derived from the bone marrow. HSCT allows administration of dose - intensive systemic chemotherapy, a nonmyeloablative conditioning regimen is used for our protocols. A small number of stem cells can replicate to populate a patient's entire hematopoietic system, therefore primary function of stem cell reinfusion is to restore the ablated immune system and expedite recovery from conditioning.


Sources of Stem Cells

Peripheral blood

Umbilical cord


Types of Stem Cell Transplants

Patients use their own blood stem cells.
An identical HLA matched full sibling's stem cells or umbilical cord blood stem cells are used.
Donor of stem cells is an identical twin.



Transplant Roadmap

Phase I — Pre Transplant Testing
Week 1-2:
Pre transplant testing — MRI, CT scans, blood work, pulmonary function tests, etc
Week 2:
(Friday) you are admitted to the hospital overnight for chemotherapy — you will be discharged the next day after fluid hydration
Phase II — Mobilization
Week 3:
You will be outpatient and give yourself the shots to grow stem cells (neupogen). Your labs will be checked.
Phase III — Harvest
Week 4:
We collect your stem cells through process call pheresis. This is usually done on Tuesday, Wednesday. When you are done, you can go home.
Week 5:
Phase IV — Conditioning/Transplant!
Week 6:
Thursday — you are admitted to the hospital for your transplant. The first six days you will be getting IV fluids, four days of chemotherapy.
Week 7:
You receive your stem cells — very similar to blood transfusion.
Week 8,9,etc:
We wait for your stem cells to grow. You stay in the hospital during this time.
Remember that this is a tentative overview. This timeline assumes that there will be no abnormal results or reactions. Every person is unique in respect to how quickly or slowly they proceed through each step.

Patient Handbook

Click here to download our Patient Handbook >

© 2010 Division of Immunotherapy AND Autoimmune Diseases (DIAD)
Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern Memorial Hospital Northwestern University