Overview and Indications

A stem cell transplant, also known as a bone marrow transplant, is a cancer treatment for patients with blood diseases such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma. A transplant may also be recommended for diseases that affect the production of bone marrow cells, such as aplastic anemia, congenital neutropenia, severe immunodeficiency syndromes, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia or to patients who have had their bone marrow destroyed by chemotherapy.

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that produce all of your blood cells. Stem cell transplantation may be autologous (self), allogeneic (donor) or from an umbilical cord.

A stem cell transplant is usually done after chemotherapy and radiation is complete. The stem cells are delivered into your bloodstream usually through a tube called a central venous catheter. The stem cells travel through the blood into the bone marrow. Most times, surgery is not needed.

The USC Blood and Marrow Transplant Program is approved by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for both autologous (self) and allogeneic (donor) transplants. Our patients have access to one of the world’s largest registries of blood donors for potential matches through our participation in the National Marrow Donor Program. For patients without a full match, we offer transplant from haploidetentical, or partial-match, donors.