The practice of transfusion medicine has become increasingly complex over the past decades as cancer treatments and those for related diseases have intensified and escalated. Patients undergoing transfusion can develop conditions including cytopenias (a reduction in one or more critical blood components), immunosuppression, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), and infections. These have all increased the demand for transfusion therapy to support and treat patients with these complications and have increased the need for specially treated blood components (which are irradiated, leukocyte-reduced, and cytomegalovirus [CMV]-seronegative).
Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Donor Room provides a full range of services: We collect, process, and test standard blood components prepared from donations of both whole blood and particular blood components (obtained through a process called apheresis) from volunteer, autologous (self), or directed (intended for a specific patient) donors. We perform therapeutic apheresis, including photopheresis (in which blood is treated with drugs that are activated when exposed to ultraviolet light) to treat a variety of conditions, as well as cytapheresis (in which specific cell-based components are removed from the blood) to collect cellular components for autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation.