Pediatric transplant pioneer Jean Sanders, MD is retiring after 37 years of dedicated service to her patients at Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She helped build the knowledge base for pediatric bone marrow transplantation at the Hutchinson Center and the nation.
A member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UW Medicine specializing in pediatric hematology and oncology, Sanders was the director of Pediatric Clinical Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance until 2010 as well as the director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Service at Seattle Children’s Hospital for many years.
For her entire career she has been learning from her young patients.
“We have a unique group of children and former children who are long-term survivors after transplantation who have taught me about the complications experienced after transplantation,” Sanders says. “I’m lucky to have had this population to learn from.”
Sanders specializes in the long-term issues faced by people who received bone marrow transplants as children to treat diseases such as leukemia. To date, she follows more than 700 childhood transplant recipients as they grow and develop through childhood on to maturity.
As a result, Sanders has learned a great deal about the life-long effects of bone marrow—and more recently stem-cell—transplants in children.
“Dr. Sanders is a pioneer in her field who has dedicated herself to helping children,” says Ann Breen, a registered nurse who is the patient and family education coordinator/transition coordinator for transplant patients at SCCA. “She has a wealth of knowledge and experience.”
Her quest has always been to eliminate cancer as a cause of human suffering and death especially in pediatric transplant patients. She devoted her career to determining which transplant treatments work best in children, investigating the long-term health effects of stem cell transplantation, providing compassionate care, and teaching more than 90 doctors.
Read all about her in the Hutchinson Center’s Quest Magazine article published earlier this month.
Thank you, Dr. Sanders! You will be missed.