In simple terms, a bone marrow transplant is a medicinal treatment that replaces diseased or destroyed bone marrow with the healthy cells. The replacement cells used for transplant are either extracted from your own body or from a matched donor.
Also called as stem cell transplant, the procedure is used to treat certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoma, and other blood and immune system diseases that affect the bone marrow.
The two main types of bone marrow transplant include:
Allogenic transplant: This is the procedure when the stem cells are donated from an individual, who is a close genetic match. A donor, in this case, could be a sibling or an immediate relative. However, in some cases, the matched donor could be someone outside the family too.
Autologous transplant: During this procedure, patient’s own stem cells are used in the transplant process. The process involves harvesting the stem cells before chemotherapy or radiation. After the chemotherapy/radiation is completed, the cells are re-introduced into the body.