New Local Hope in Cancer Treatment: Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute Launches Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program


Amir Toor, MD, hematologist at Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute discusses the area’s only Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest which opened Tuesday. The center offers people with certain blood disorde

[Editor's Note--  With the Impending arrival of Lehigh Valley Health Network in our local community, The Boyertown Area Expression continues to share press releases that acquaint our readers with LVHN's medical services and innovations.]

The first of its kind in the region, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute’s Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program is now offering people with certain blood disorders and cancers access to stem cell transplants closer to home than ever before.

“Stem cell transplants are a lifesaving treatment option, but they are also incredibly taxing for those receiving them and their loved ones,” says Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). “In the past, our community members needed to travel out of the area for this treatment option, spending weeks in an unfamiliar hospital far from their homes. But now, thanks to incredibly generous gifts from Joe and Maureen Topper and Tom and Karin Hall, that is no longer the reality for our patients.”

About stem cell transplants

Stem cell transplants are a treatment option for certain blood disorders and cancers, including:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • Myelofibrosis
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Stem cell transplants take place after a patient has received treatments to destroy the diseased cells in their body. Healthy blood-forming stem cells are then infused into the patient to help restore bone marrow destroyed by the treatments given to treat their cancer or other condition.

“While it’s important to provide exceptional care and comfort to all our patients, people needing a stem cell transplant need especially dedicated support. Patients receiving this treatment undergo many types of pre-transplant testing, need to come in for several outpatient appointments and spend weeks in the hospital during their treatment regimen. Having the comfort of their family and community members close by throughout their entire patient journey can make all the difference in their emotional health,” says Suresh Nair, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute. “It is a true honor to bring this lifesaving treatment option to our community, and it’s another important example of how Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute continues to move the needle forward in cancer care throughout our region.”

Specially trained staff members and state-of-the-art facilities

The Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program is led by hematologist Amir Toor, MD, who has more than 20 years of experience with stem cell transplants and vast expertise with cellular therapies for hematologic malignancies.

“Over the last few years, my colleagues and I have been hard at work building a specialized team of physicians, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, social workers, financial counselors and transplant coordinators who are specially trained to care for and support patients undergoing stem cell transplants. We’ve also overseen the development of designated spaces for the program, like an apheresis unit where stem cells are collected for transplants, and an inpatient unit specifically designed to keep our patients safe while they are receiving treatment,” Dr. Toor says. “It is an honor to bring stem cell transplantation to people in all the communities LVHN serves. Allowing people to receive this treatment in their own community is such an important step in advancing cancer care throughout the region, and it truly highlights our dedication to increasing comfort and convenience for our patients.”

Donor Karin Hall joins her husband, Tom (third from right), and leaders of Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute in cutting the ribbon to open the area’s first and only Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest.

About Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) includes 13 hospital campuses, four in Allentown, two in Bethlehem, one in Easton, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton, two in Pottsville, one in Dickson City, and one in Lehighton, Pa.; 28 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE locations including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence, Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute and Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute physicians provide the most advanced treatments. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance (MSK Cancer Alliance), an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s first and most trusted children’s hospital, provides access to the most pediatric specialties in the region and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH) is ranked 27th in the country for orthopedic care and among the top 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report. LVH is also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top hospital in the Allentown metro area for the 10th year in a row. LVH–Cedar Crest, LVH–17th Street and LVH–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting or following us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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