Blood and marrow transplantation (BMT), also known as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, is often an effective treatment for cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other blood disorders.
BMT allows for the safe use of very high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy in patients whose cancer cells have developed resistance to standard doses of chemotherapy. For many patients with blood-related cancers and solid tumors, BMT is the only available cure.
Transplant options include autologous (meaning your own cells) and allogeneic (meaning donor cells). The needed stem cells can come from bone marrow, blood or umbilical cord blood. If a matched related or unrelated donor cannot be found, we offer haploidentical bone marrow transplantation using a half-matched, first-degree relative’s stem cells.
Before the transplant, your transplant team will perform a variety of evaluations. You may be in the hospital up to 10 days before your procedure for preparation.
If a potential donor is found, he/she will undergo tests to determine the extent of the match. Once approved, the stem cells will be collected during a non-invasive procedure.
High doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are used to destroy the cancerous cells. The healthy stem cells are administered into the bone marrow during a non-surgical procedure. The stem cells then begin reproducing – growing new, healthy blood cells.
After the transplant, it’s important to prevent and treat infection, and manage side effects and complications. This involves blood tests, close monitoring, and a protected environment. You may be required to stay in the hospital for several weeks.
After leaving the hospital, it can be months or longer before you are able to return to work and regular activities.