Bone Marrow & Stem Cell Transplant | IU Health

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To prepare your body for bone marrow or stem cell transplant, youll be treated with high doses of chemotherapy with or without radiation to destroy cancerous cells. Some healthy cells may also be destroyed, which can cause unpleasant side effects. These side effects typically go away after a few weeks.

Once this preparation is complete, new stem cells will be transplanted through your veins and the cells will make their way to your bone marrow. These stem cells will mature into healthy marrow, to produces healthy blood and immune cells.

Stem cells transplants can come from your own bone marrow (autologous) or a donors marrow (allogeneic). Whether autologous or allogeneic stem cells are used depends on your condition, and the procedures have some differences.

Uses your own stem cells. Before chemotherapy, your stem cells are collected by apheresis, frozen with a preservative and stored until they are needed. Because the cells are yours, theres no risk of your body rejecting the transplanted stem cells. This method is appropriate for blood-related cancers like multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphomas and Hodgkin disease, as well as certain germ-cell cancers.

Use healthy cells from a donor, when an immunological effect is needed to fight your cancer. Your donor will usually be a sibling or a strong match from the national registry. If a matched sibling or unrelated donor cannot be found, cord blood stem cells or a mismatched relative donor may be used.

The donors stem cells are collected by apheresis or from the bone marrow in a surgical procedure. Youll need to take medicines to suppress your immune system to prevent rejection and keep the donors immune cells from attacking your normal cells. Donor-cell transplant is used to treat blood-related cancers like leukemias and some lymphomas or multiple myeloma, and bone marrow failure disorders like myelodysplastic syndrome and aplastic anemia.

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Bone Marrow & Stem Cell Transplant | IU Health

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