What is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant? | Stem cell …

By daniellenierenberg

You might have a stem cell or bone marrow transplant as part of your cancer treatment.

It is a treatment for some people with:

It is also a treatment for other blood conditions.

A transplant allows you to have high doses of chemotherapy and other treatments. The stem cellsare collected from the bloodstream or the bone marrow.

Stem cells are very earlycells made inthe bone marrow. Bone marrow is a spongy material that fills the bones.

These stem cells develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Red blood cells contain haemoglobin which carries oxygen around the body. White blood cells are part of your immune system and help to fight infection. Platelets help to clot the blood to prevent bleeding.

You have a stem cell transplant after very high doses of chemotherapy. You might have targeted drugs with the chemotherapy. You may also have radiotherapy to your whole body. This is called total body irradiation or TBI.

The radiotherapy and chemotherapy have a good chance of killing the cancercells. But it also kills the stem cells in your bone marrow.

Soyour team either collect:

After the treatment you have the stem cells into your bloodstream through a drip. The cells find their way back to your bone marrow where they start making blood cells again and your bone marrow slowly recovers.

Some people who have a donor transplant might have a mini transplant. This isalso called a reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) transplant.

You have lower doses of chemotherapy than in a traditional stem cell transplant. You might have this treatment if you are older (usually over 50 years),or not fit or well enough for a traditional transplant.

The main difference between a stem cell and bone marrow transplant is whether stem cells are collected from the bloodstream or bone marrow.

A stem cell transplant uses stem cells from your bloodstream, or a donors bloodstream. This is also called a peripheral blood stem cell transplant.

A bone marrow transplant uses stem cells from your bone marrow, or a donors bone marrow.

Stem cell transplants are the most common type of transplant. Bone marrow transplants are not used as much. This is because:

You might have a bone marrow transplant if collecting stem cells has been difficult in your situation.

The aim of your transplant will depend on your situation. Your doctor might explain that a transplant will try to cure your disease or control it for as long as possible.

With lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma the aim is to put the cancer into remission. Remission means there is no sign of the cancer.

Your doctor might suggest a transplant if your disease:

Depending on your situation, you might have a transplant using:

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What is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant? | Stem cell ...

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