In a bone marrow transplant, a patient receives high-dose chemotherapy, and sometimes whole body radiation. While killing the cancer cells, the treatments also kill the patient's immune system cells. To compensate, the patient receives an infusion of bone marrow stem cells, which develop into healthy new immune system cells. A cord blood transplant is similar, except the donated stem cells come from a newborn's umbilical cord blood.
"Patients can go from being on death's door to being cured," Dr. Hagen said. "And in cases in which cures are not possible, people are living longer with less toxicity from treatments."
Dr. Hagen sees patients at Loyola's Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center and Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.
Loyola's Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program is one of the largest and most experienced transplant programs in the Midwest. Care is provided by an interdisciplinary transplant team that incudes attending physicians, advanced practice nurses, dietitians, social workers chaplains and clinical psychologists.
Dr. Hagen earned a medical degree at St. George's University in Grenada. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Loyola University Medical Center.
Dr. Hagen is an assistant professor in the division of hematology/oncology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He is board certified in internal medicine and is pending board certification in hematology/oncology.