Project Summary

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

Hematopoietic cell transplantation, or HCT, is commonly known as bone marrow transplant. HCT is the only treatment that can cure advanced blood cancers. Each year 20,000 people have HCT in the United States.

HCT is a complex treatment. Not all hospitals perform it. With HCT, doctors use chemotherapy or radiation to kill cancer cells in bone marrow. Then they replace the patient’s marrow with another person’s cells.  

Clinicians, such as doctors and nurses, watch patients closely in the first six months after HCT, while new immune cells take hold. Patients are at risk for infections and graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD. Patients often travel long distances for these visits, which can be time-consuming and costly for patients and caregivers.

This study is comparing two ways to care for patients who have had an HCT. In the first way, the patient’s local cancer doctor and HCT doctor work together to give check-ups and lab tests. In the second way, patients get care from their HCT doctor only.

Who can this research help?

Study results can help HCT centers provide care that will best support patients after bone marrow transplant.    

What is the research team doing?

The research team is working with an HCT clinic in Boston to enroll 324 patients who are getting an HCT. Patients live in New England and near one of eight local oncology centers taking part in the study. Doctors at the oncology centers get yearly training and monthly calls with HCT doctors to learn how to care for patients after HCT.

In this study, the research team is assigning patients by chance to one of two groups. In the shared care group, for the first 90 days, patients switch between seeing their local doctor and visiting the HCT clinic each week. At the end of 90 days, alternating visits take place every two to three weeks. HCT doctors and local cancer doctors share a care plan and communicate with each other via a web portal. Patients can view the portal, including contact information for their care teams and details about their treatment. In the usual care group, patients receive all of their post-HCT care at the HCT clinic in Boston.

For six months, the research team is comparing changes in patients’ cancer- and transplant-related quality of life. The team is also looking at whether patients have financial issues after the transplant. Finally, the team is measuring each patient’s chance of dying and of having a serious health problem after the transplant. 

Patients and doctors are working with the research team to plan and carry out the study.

Research methods at a glance

Design Elements Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population 324 participants ages 18 and over, receiving an HCT at the Dana-Farber Inpatient Hospital or Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who live in New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts, can read English, and live less than 1 hour from a local participating center
  • Shared care: posttransplant care that alternates between a local cancer doctor and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Usual care: posttransplant care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Primary: transplant and cancer-related quality of life, financial hardship, and 100-day nonrelapse mortality

Secondary: overall survival and presence of chronic GVHD

Timeframe 6-month follow-up for primary outcomes

Project Information

Gregory Abel, MD, MPH
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Shared Care: Patient-Centered Management after Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Key Dates

July 2016
August 2023

Study Registration Information


Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: September 26, 2023