Transplants

High dose chemotherapy destroys cancer cells, but also damages the stem cells that make blood cells in the bone marrow. So if you need high dose treatment you need a way of replacing the stem cells that have been destroyed. This is called having a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. They are sometimes called a bone marrow or stem cell rescue. 

What is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant?

You might have a stem cell or bone marrow transplant as part of your treatment for NHL. You have a transplant after very high doses of chemotherapy.

Types of transplant

Depending on your situation, you might have a transplant using your own stem cells (an autologous transplant). Or using stem cells from another person (an allogeneic transplant). 

Collecting stem cells

You might have a stem cell or bone marrow transplant as part of your treatment for NHL. The stem cells are collected from the bloodsteam or the bone marrow.

Having a transplant

Before your transplant you have high dose chemotherapy. Some people also have radiotherapy. These treatments aim to kill any NHL cells that are left in your body. 

Side effects of stem cell or bone marrow transplant

The side effects of having a bone marrow or stem cell transplant are caused by high dose chemotherapy. You might have extra side effects if you also have total body radiotherapy as part of your treatment.

Who can donate stem cells or bone marrow?

To be a donor you need to have stem cells that match the person you are donating to. To find this out, you have a blood test to look at HLA typing or tissue typing. Read more about the ways to donate stem cells or bone marrow. 

After a transplant

It takes a long time to get over intensive treatment such as a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. You might need to make adjustments in various parts of your life.

Last reviewed: 
30 Dec 2020
Next review due: 
30 Dec 2023
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