A stem cell transplant is a type of medical treatment that offers the possibility of replacing diseased blood-forming cells (called hematopoietic stem cells) with healthy ones.9 Stem cell transplants can use stem cells that have been collected from cord blood, bone marrow, or peripheral (circulating) blood. But there are many advantages for certain people to have cord blood stem cell transplants.
Stem cells for transplantation can come from:
- The person having the procedure (“autologous transplants”)
- An unrelated matched donor (“unrelated allogeneic transplant”)
- A related matched donor (“related allogeneic transplant”)
Stem cell treatment for cancer
For people with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and other blood cancers, a stem cell transplant will typically follow chemotherapy or radiation treatment.10 The procedure can also be beneficial for people with other inherited or acquired bone marrow or immune system disorders.
Stem cell transplant procedure
The stem cell transplant procedure itself has 4 key steps:9
- Stem cell collection, from either banked cord or placental blood, bone marrow, or PBSC
- Patient Preparation, including chemotherapy with or without radiation
- Transplantation, whereby the stem cells are put into the patient’s body through the veins
- Recovery, which can last weeks to months