Bone Marrow and Stem Cells Transplant Basics

Allogeneic Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplantation Handbook

Allogeneic Bone Marrow/ Stem Cell Transplantation Handbook

The basic idea behind bone marrow/stem cell transplantation (BMT/SCT) is to allow high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to kill rapidly dividing cells in the body to make room for new, healthy cells. Cancer cells, like other cells in the body, divide rapidly. Though these treatments are among the most effective weapons against many forms of cancer, they do not have precise aim and they cannot target only diseased cells. As a result, many normal rapidly dividing cells, including stem cells, are also destroyed during the treatment. Therefore, “rescue” with transplanted bone marrow or stem cells enables the patient to produce new blood cells to replace those destroyed during treatment.

Autologous Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplantation Handbook

Autologous Bone Marrow/ Stem Cell Transplantation Handbook

There are two main types of bone marrow or stem cell transplants: allogeneic (a donor supplies the marrow or stem cells) and autologous (the patient’s own bone marrow or stem cells are used). A syngeneic transplant is a type of allogeneic transplant of marrow or stem cells from an identical twin. Several factors determine what type of BMT/SCT a patient should have, including the type of disease, age, overall health, and availability of a donor.

Click here to learn how you can receive a copy of The Bone Marrow Foundation’s medical and educational handbooks for allogeneic and autologous transplantation. Both books are also available in Spanish.


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About Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation

The Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation, founded in 1992, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for cancer and transplant patients and their families by providing vital financial assistance, comprehensive resources, educational information, physician referrals, and emotional support programs. The Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation is the only organization of its kind that does not limit assistance to a specific disease, type of transplant, or age range. All of the Foundation’s programs and services are offered to patients and their families free of charge.

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