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What is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant?

A transplant allows you to have much higher doses of chemotherapy than usual, which may help to improve the chances of curing some types of cancer, leukaemia or lymphoma, or prolonging a remission. Remission is where there is no sign of the cancer.


Very high doses of chemotherapy, sometimes with radiotherapy, are usually given over a few days. The high-dose treatment destroys the bone marrow and stem cells. So, after the high-dose treatment you will be given a drip (infusion) of either:

  • your own stem cells (autologous treatment)
  • or stem cells from a donor (allogeneic transplant).

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