A bone marrow transplant is a procedure that infuses healthy blood-forming stem cells into your body to replace your damaged or diseased bone marrow. A bone marrow transplant is also called a stem cell transplant.
You might need a bone marrow transplant if your bone marrow stops working and does not produce enough healthy blood cells.
Bone marrow transplants may use cells from your own body (autologous transplant) or from a donor (allogeneic transplant).
Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some bones. Its job is to produce blood cells. If your bone marrow isn't functioning properly because of cancer or another disease, you may receive a stem cell transplant.
To prepare for a stem cell transplant, you receive chemotherapy to kill the diseased cells and malfunctioning bone marrow. Then, transplanted blood stem cells are put into your bloodstream. The transplanted stem cells find their way to your marrow, where — ideally — they begin producing new, healthy blood cells.
A bone marrow transplant may be used to:
Bone marrow transplants can benefit people with a variety of both cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign) diseases, including: