About Bone Marrow Transplantation
A bone marrow transplant, also called a stem cell transplant, is a procedure that infuses healthy cells, called stem cells, into the body to replace damaged or diseased bone marrow.
Bone marrow is the soft, spongy center of the bone that contains the stem cells that produce white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. There is a difference between a bone marrow transplant and a peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSC transplant). The goal is the same – to replace, or reinforce, with healthy blood cells – but the technique is different. With a bone marrow transplant, the donor is put under anesthesia in the operating room and bone marrow is harvested from the back of the hip bones. With a PBSC transplant, the cells from the donor are harvested from an apheresis machine.
Bone marrow transplants have proven successful in treating certain types of cancer and may be used in conjunction with chemotherapy alone or in combination with total body irradiation.
A bone marrow transplant may be needed if:
- Your body cannot make the blood cells it needs because your bone marrow or stem cells have failed.
- Your bone marrow or blood cells have become diseased and need to be replaced.
- You have a disease being treated with high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, which destroys cancerous and stem cells at the same time.
Receiving a transplant is similar to receiving a blood transfusion. Healthy cells seek their place in the bone marrow and begin to make a new population of healthy blood cells that both your body and immune system need.
Types of Bone Marrow Transplants
Our team offers allogeneic, autologous and haploidentical transplantation. The type of transplant you receive is determined by several factors, including your diagnosis, stage of disease, overall health and age.
- Allogeneic Transplant
Healthy bone marrow cells come from matched related or unrelated donors, or umbilical cord blood.
- Autologous Transplant
Healthy bone marrow cells come from you.
- Haploidentical Transplant
Healthy bone marrow cells come from half-matched related (haploidentical) donors.
The Fox Chase-Temple Bone Marrow Transplant Program is fully accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and a participating provider in the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
Temple University Hospital earned the status of a “Blue Distinction Center for Transplants” by Blue Cross Blue Shield, in recognition of the Fox Chase-Temple University Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program’s expertise in performing adult bone marrow transplants.