What is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant?

Stem cells are collected from the bloodstream, or less often from the bone marrow.

A transplant using your own stem cells

This transplant uses your own stem cells to replace blood cells destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy and other treatments. 

A transplant using a donor’s stem cells

When you have a stem cell transplant using another person’s stem cells, it is called an allogeneic transplant.

Who can donate stem cells or bone marrow?

Find out who can be a stem cell or bone marrow donor, and how to register.

Total body irradiation (TBI)

Radiotherapy to the whole body is called total body irradiation or TBI.

Side effects of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant

The side effects of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant include infection, bleeding, sickness and diarrhoea.

Recovery after a stem cell 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.

Resources and organisations

There are lots of organisations, support groups and helpful books to help you cope with a transplant and its side effects.

Last reviewed: 
09 Nov 2022
Next review due: 
09 Nov 2025