Bone marrow transplantation is a procedure in which healthy stem cells are injected into your vein. Stem cells are very immature cells that produce blood cells. The new cells travel through your bloodstream to your bone marrow where they can begin producing healthy blood cells.
The transplant replaces those cells destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Bone marrow transplantation may be performed using bone marrow from a donor or using your own stored bone marrow.
The newly injected cells should be free of cancer and able to produce healthy cells.
Stem cells are removed from your circulating bloodstream before chemotherapy or radiation treatment. They are replaced after treatment. Stem cells can mature into other types of blood cells.
This treatment allows you to receive high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. The transplanted stem cells then replace the healthy blood cells that were destroyed by the chemotherapy or radiation.
Prior to removing the cells, you may be given medication to boost the number of stem cells in your blood. Stem cells are removed from your blood through a catheter placed in your neck or chest. Stem cells are separated from other cells as the blood moves through a machine. The process is called apheresis. The stem cells are stored and may receive treatment to kill any cancer cells that may be present. They are frozen until needed for transplant. The rest of the blood is returned to the body. The process usually takes between 4-5 hours.
is the surgical removal of the spleen. This organ, located in the upper left part of the abdomen, is part of the lymphatic system. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a splenectomy in people who have lymphoma.
The benefits of this surgery include:
- Better tolerance to chemotherapy
- No damage to the kidney and lung if the spleen needed radiation
Possible complications of splenectomy include:
- Collapse of part or all of the lung
Hodgkin disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
. Updated March 8, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
website. Available at:
. Updated March 15, 2012. Accessed April 29, 2013.
Hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at:
. Accessed April 29, 2013.
Indications for splenectomy.
The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. Indications for splenectomy. The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract website. Available at:
. Updated May 2003. Accessed April 29, 2013.
Last reviewed April 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD; Michael Woods, MD
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