BAYAMON, Puerto Rico, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Starting June 24, Moffitt Cancer Center will be opening a blood and marrow transplant evaluation and follow-up clinic in Puerto Rico at the Bayamon Cancer Center. Dr. Melissa Alsina, head of Moffitt’s Multiple Myeloma Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and native Puerto Rican, will travel to the island once a month on a Friday. Alsina will see patients who have been referred by a physician as candidates for a blood and marrow transplant.
“Currently, there is no allogeneic (donor) bone marrow transplant program for adult patients in Puerto Rico,” said Alsina. “Therefore, any patient that needs an evaluation for a possible allogeneic stem cell transplant, or follow-up care, must leave the island. This clinic will provide patients the opportunity to have these services in Puerto Rico. I am very excited to be able to provide this service to patients in my native country.”
There are nearly 800 adults diagnosed in Puerto Rico with blood related cancers like lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma each year. Using United States application rates, approximately one hundred and ten of those would be transplanted. With only a 25 percent chance that a family member is a match, more than 30 patients a year might need to undergo a search for a matched unrelated donor. Finding an unrelated donor that is a match for a Hispanic patient is more difficult than Whites, so if you are interested in becoming a potential donor with the National Marrow Donor Program, please join the registry at www.marrow.org.
The clinic is located at:
Metro Medical Center
Carr #2 KM 12.3 Urb. Hermanas Davilas
Torre B, 7th Floor
Bayamon, PR 00959
Please call (787) 395-7085 to schedule an appointment.
Moffitt’s BMT program performs more than 370 transplants a year. Since its inception in 1989, the program has performed almost 3,000 transplants with more than 1,200 survivors. In 2010, BlueCross BlueShield Association named Moffitt one of its Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® for bone marrow and blood stem-cell transplants. Moffitt is the only facility in Florida to be recognized with this honor. The designation is awarded to blood and marrow transplant programs that have demonstrated excellence in medical care, outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Their goal is to help consumers find quality, specialty care on a consistent basis, while enabling and encouraging health care professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery of care nationwide.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center – a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 14 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia, one in Pennsylvania and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt marks a very important anniversary in 2011 – 25 years committed to one mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.
SOURCE Moffitt Cancer Center