Leukemia Marrow Transplant – Facts You Need to Know

Leukemia results due to increased WBC-white blood cells crowding up the platelets and red blood cells-RBCs. It’s a blood cancer that results in WBCs which do not work right. Leukemia is identified by fatigue, bruising, chills, severe infections, headaches, joint pain, seizures, loss of weight, breath shortage, night sweats, and inflamed lymph nodes. Leukemia is treated in different ways. One of the methods is bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant for treating leukemia. This is called a Leukemia marrow transplant.

What is stem cell transplantation?

Stem cell transplantation involves high radiation or chemotherapy doses to treat destroy leukemia cells within the normal bone marrow. Post this process, the stem cells are transplanted through an intravenous-IV infusion. These infused stem cells get to the bone marrow and start generating new blood cells. These stem cells can be obtained from a potential compatible donor-allogenic or patient-autologous. These cells are obtained from the umbilical cord blood or bone marrow.

How does Leukamia occur?

The 3 blood cell types-RBCs which carry oxygen, WBCs that combat infection, and platelets that assist in a blood clot. Your bone marrow makes many new blood cells with the majority of them being RBCs. In leukemia, WBCs are generated in more numbers than required. The cells cannot combat infection as WBCs. They begin to impact the way your organs operate. With time, there are no sufficient RBCs for sufficient oxygen supply, WBCs to combat infection, and sufficient platelets for the blood to clot.

What does stem cell transplant do?

A stem cell transplant is a process where the harmful leukemia cells are present in your bone marrow. New stem cells are generated from a donor or body which grow into healthy and new blood cells.

Can a bone marrow transplant cure leukemia?

Bone-marrow transplantation is efficient in eliminating leukemia. This is because of the radiation and high drug doses that are administered before transplantation. Leukemia can be treated with a functioning and healthy bone marrow replacement. This way you regenerate an immune system that combats residual or existing leukemia not wiped out with radiation or chemotherapy with a transplant.

The Procedure

Stem cells generated from the patient-Auto transplant

Stem cells collection- A medication is injected to enhance your stem cells. The stem cells are collected from your chest or arm vein. They are stored as required.

Treatment before transplant- It takes 5-10 days. A high chemotherapy dose with some getting radiation therapy is a pre-treatment plan.

Acquiring stem cells- It’s around 30 mins process for every dose of infusion of stem cells. The stem cells are infused using a catheter into your bloodstream. You may need over one infusion.

Recovery-This phase is monitoring your recovery of cells and their growth. You may need antibiotics to minimize infection. Any side effects are treated and dealt with.

Stem cells from a donor-Allo transplant

Donor identification-A potential donor is identified for your HLA identical type through a blood test. They could be friends, family, or from a stem cell register.

The rest of the procedure is the same with the only difference, the stem cells are collected from the donor and self.


Leukemia is a bone cancer that generates more WBCs than usual crowding the RBCs.  A leukemia marrow transplant infuses healthy stem cells obtained from bone marrow to make the system healthy.

Gift of Life Marrow Registry Also Offers Following Services :

Stem Cell Donation

Bone Marrow Match Registry

Bone Marrow Registry Search

Bone Marrow Drive

Contact US:

Gift of Life Marrow Registry

Address:  800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL
Phone: (800) 962-7769

Understanding More About Stem Cell Donation

If you want to help a person and a close relative, then you will have reasons to find this article interesting and informative. We will be dealing with the subject of stem cell donation. Put in simple words, stem cell donation from one person to another is also referred to as allogeneic transplant. Those who are keen on donating their stem cells joint a volunteer registry and it also is referred to as national registry. These donors can get in touch with a health care provider and get information about the nearest donor center. Before the actual donation takes place, the potential donors are asked several questions. This will ensure that they are healthy enough to be a candidate for donation. Further, such donors should not be a source of health risk for the recipient.

What Are The Steps To Be Followed

To begin with, a simple blood test is done to find out more about the donors potential HLA type. The fee for this could be around $75 to $100 and it is tax-deductible. People who become volunteers for such donations will have their names in the national registry until they reach the age of 60. Pregnant women also can donate the cord blood of their babies because it is considered to be rich in stem cells transplant match. However, arrangements for the same have to be made early during pregnancy. It should not exceed to the third semester of pregnancy. In fine, there are reasons to believe that donation apart from being free is safe and does not impact the birth process of the child.

How The Stem Cells Are Collected

Once the information and other aspects pertaining to stem cell donation are completed, the actual process of donation begins. The stem cells can be collected from the bone marrow, peripheral stem cell locations, umbilical cord blood. Each method is unique and it would be a good idea to have some basic information about each of the above process.

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Collection

This process is referred to as a bone marrow harvest. It is done in a specialized operating room and the donor is put under general anesthesia. The marrow cells are usually collected from the back of the pelvic bone or hip. The donor is made to lie face down and a large needle is pushed through the skin and into the back of the pelvic bone. The needle goes through the one and reaches the center from where liquid marrow is pulled out through the needle. This process has to be repeated several times before enough marrow has been taken out. The amount would depend on the overall weight of the donor and does not exceed 10% of the donors’ marrow. Once the process is over, the patient gets backs his or his senses and the entire recovery period should not be more than two or three days. It is quite safe with very little risk.

Peripheral Blood Stem Cells

This process begins several days before and the donor is put through an injection course of filgrastim. This enhances the growth and release of bone marrow cells into the bloodstream. There could be some side effects including pain in the joints, mild fevers and tiredness. These can be handled with the help of over the counter NSAIDs.

Contact US:

Gift of Life Marrow Registry
Address:  800 Yamato Rd suite 101  Boca Raton, FL
Phone: (800) 962-7769