Bone marrow transplant eligibility

If your bone marrow stops working and doesn't produce healthy stem cells, you may benefit from a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow transplants are used to treat people whose stem cells have been damaged by disease or the treatment of a disease, or as a way to have the donor's immune system fight a blood disorder, such as leukemia.

A bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant, also known as a blood and marrow transplant, is a procedure that infuses healthy cells, called stem cells, into your body to replace damaged or diseased stem cells.

Bone marrow transplant may use cells from your own body (autologous transplant), from a donor (allogeneic transplant) or from an identical twin (syngeneic transplant).

People with many conditions may benefit from a bone marrow transplant, including:

Doctors will determine whether a bone marrow transplant may be safe and beneficial for you. Your treatment team will explain the benefits and risks of a bone marrow transplant.

Your treatment team will also evaluate you to determine whether a bone marrow transplant or an alternative therapy may be the most appropriate treatment option for your condition. Doctors provide an individual treatment approach for your condition.

To evaluate whether you're a candidate for a bone marrow transplant, doctors may:

  • Review your medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Conduct blood tests
  • Perform imaging tests, such as X-rays
  • Conduct tests to check your heart, lung and other organ functions
  • Remove a small sample of bone marrow (biopsy) to evaluate your condition
  • Perform other tests to ensure you don't have any other serious conditions
  • Order a psychosocial evaluation

If doctors determine that you're likely to benefit from a transplant, your treatment team will explain to you what to expect before, during and after your bone marrow transplant.

July 11, 2013