McLaren Health Care
Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant

Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant

Some cancers require high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat them effectively. However, high doses of chemotherapy often severely lower white blood cell count or decrease function of the immune system. A bone marrow or stem cell transplant is a procedure in which high dose chemo is given, followed by an intravenous infusion of healthy bone marrow or stem cells. These cells travel to the bone marrow and begin to produce new bone marrow cells in about 2-3 weeks. This is called engraftment.

Bone marrow or stem cells are either autologous (your own cells) or allogeneic (donated from someone else).

Why are bone marrow or stem cell transplants used in cancer patients?

Higher than normal doses of chemotherapy can only be given if a bone marrow or stem cell transplant is available to help the bone marrow recover.

Why are there side effects when someone receives a bone marrow or stem cell transplant?

  • Side effects in allogeneic transplants depend on how closely the donated bone marrow or stem cells match the patient. Even with a "perfect" match, some side effects can occur.
  • Side effects from the high dose therapy are the same as with general chemotherapy, but they may be more intense.

What are the most common side effects of bone marrow or stem cell transplant?

  • Bleeding
  • Failure for bone marrow to regrow (engraft)
  • Graft-verses-host disease ("GVHD") in allogeneic (marrow/stem cells from another person) transplants
  • Infections

Learn More

Karmanos Bone Marrow-Stem Cell Transplant Program

Events

cancer care

Kids Kicking Cancer

1080 Harrington Blvd.
Mount Clemens

cancer care

Nancy Carey Support Group (for women who have or have had cancer)

1517 Canterbury Trail
Office/Community Room
Mt. Pleasant

cancer care, rehabilitation

BASE Exercise Class for Cancer patients and Survivors

1080 Harrington Blvd
Ted B Wahby Cancer Center, Conference Room
Mount Clemens

cancer care

Kids Kicking Cancer

1080 Harrington Blvd.
Mount Clemens
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