Medical Services

Stem cell transplants as treatment for blood and marrow diseases

A bone marrow transplant — also called a blood stem cell transplant — is a procedure in which damaged or diseased bone marrow cells are replaced with healthy ones. It can be used to treat the following:

Stem cell transplants may also be used to restore bone marrow damaged by high-dose chemotherapy or radiation from cancer treatment.

Stem cell sources

Hematopoietic or blood-forming stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of your blood cells. They can be harvested from any of the following sources for use in transplants:

  • Peripheral blood – Stem cells are collected from the blood stream.
  • Bone marrow – Stem cells are collected directly from the bone marrow.
  • Umbilical cord blood – Stem cells are collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born.

Learn more about collection options for blood and marrow transplants.

Types of transplants

Scripps performs the following types of transplants:

  • Autologous transplants – Patients receive their own stem cells, which are removed before receiving high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatment and stored for later use.
  • Allogeneic transplants – Patients receive stem cells from a donor. Special blood tests are done to determine if a donor is a good match for the recipient.

Donors and recipients are matched through national bone marrow registries.

Scripps BMT physicians choose the type of transplant based on several factors, including the type of disease, the stage of disease and the patient’s general condition.