A stem cell transplant is a procedure that infuses healthy cells into the body to replace diseased or damaged bone marrow. Stem cell transplants are commonly used to treat cancers that affect the blood and lymphatic systems. Those cancers include leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. This treatment may also help patients recover from cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The doctors who perform stem cell transplants at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) are hematologists and/or medical oncologists who focus on treating hematologic cancers. These oncologists perform two main types of stem cell transplantation. Autologous transplant is a procedure where cells are collected from the patient's own bloodstream (peripheral blood stem cells). The cells are then frozen and stored, and after intensive therapy, they are transplanted in the patient. The other type of stem cell transplants are called allogeneic. This procedure involves harvesting stem cells from a donor whose tissue closely matches the patient.
It may take time after a stem cell transplant to rebuild your immune system to healthy levels. Your doctors actively monitor you in the weeks following the transplant and check your blood counts frequently. Doctors may prescribe medications, if necessary, and may perform blood transfusions to address infections or bleeding problems after the stem cell transplants.
To reduce the risk of complications and side effects, the stem cell transplant teams at our five CTCA® hospitals, located across the United States, work with you to address your needs throughout the stem cell transplant process. The stem cell transplant team collaborates with other members of the patient’s care team, including supportive care clinicians who offer mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation, nutrition therapy, chiropractic care and other therapies to help manage side effects and improve the patient’s quality of life.