Blood & Marrow Transplant 101 – Sarah Cannon

Blood & Marrow Transplant 101 – Sarah Cannon


patients with blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma may be recommended by their physician for a stem cell transplant. there are different types of stem cell transplants also known as blood and marrow transplants but all involve the infusion of hematopoietic stem cells a type of cell found in bone marrow that has the ability to mature into healthy blood cells. depending on your type of cancer your physician may use your own stem cells carefully collected and stored until you are ready for transplantation called an autologous transplant or they may use stem cells collected from a donor called an allogeneic transplant. the donor may be a relative or someone unrelated to you but in all cases they will be carefully chosen to ensure a good match and lessen complications. prior to your transplant you may receive radiation and/or chemotherapy to attack blood cancer cells in your body and prepare your body to accept the new healthy stem cells. what happens during a stem cell transplant? a stem cell infusion is similar to a blood transfusion and as the stem cells are introduced into your bloodstream they naturally migrate into the bone marrow. let’s take a closer look. in your body there are many types of blood cells. stem cells are immature cells that have the ability to become different types of blood cells. in the bone marrow stem cells begin to replicate and become different types of healthy blood cells. red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout your body platelets that help your blood to clot when you bleed and white blood cells to help your body fight infection. after your stem cell transplant you will remain under close observation for a few weeks while your Sarah Cannon care team monitors your blood cell counts and protects you against infection. over time your transplanted stem cells multiply and produce blood cells to create a healthy immune system. you will see your care team frequently to ensure your blood levels remain healthy and you are doing well. stem cell transplants require a dedicated team of experienced healthcare professionals. at Sarah Cannon your team consists of your transplant physician, consulting physicians, nurses, BMT coordinator, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, social workers, psychologists and other experienced caregivers who walk with you through every step of the stem cell transplant journey. the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network is one of the world’s largest networks providing stem cell transplants. our team of dedicated cancer experts will walk alongside you every step of the way from pre transplant preparation through the transplant process and into survivorship. to learn more visit SarahCannon.com