The Transplant Process
The process of a bone marrow/stem cell transplant can be long and difficult, but patients benefit from the support of a dedicated multidisciplinary care team who is there to answer your questions before, during and after your procedure.
Prior to bone marrow transplant, the patient receives a high dose of chemotherapy or radiation to destroy cancer cells in the body. Bone marrow or stem cells—taken from the patient or from a matched relative or matched unrelated donor—are given through a vein, similar to a blood transfusion. Over time, these cells settle into the bone marrow where they begin to grow healthy new blood cells.
The bone marrow and stem cell transplant process includes:
Evaluation and preparation
Patients complete medical tests, including bone marrow biopsy, heart tests, blood and lung studies, along with consultation with the transplant team, including a psychological evaluation.
Patients are treated with high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation to destroy cancer cells and ready the body for transplant.
Bone marrow/stem cells are infused through an IV, similar to a blood transfusion.
Over the course of 2 to 6 weeks, transplanted bone marrow/stem cells engraft. Engraftment is when the donated cells you received for your transplant start to grow and make new blood cells in your body. During this time, your doctor will monitor your blood counts closely and may prescribe antibiotics and other medications.
Your transplant team will remain in contact with you for the next year or more to provide medical follow-up and supportive care.