Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation
Bone marrow or stem cell transplant is a common treatment for blood cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, and some types of lymphoma. It is also possible to treat some other blood diseases such as sickle cell disease, with stem cell transplants. Bone marrow, the soft, spongy tissue inside bones, makes blood cells. It contains cells called “hematopoietic” stem cells, which generate all the cells that compose the blood and the immune system and which are transplanted.
When stem cells are collected from bone marrow and transplanted in a patient, the procedure is known as a bone marrow transplant. If the transplanted stem cells came from the bloodstream, the procedure is called a peripheral blood stem cell transplant—usually shortened to “stem cell transplant.” It is the latter procedure that is more commonly used.