Stem Cell Collection for Blood and Marrow Transplant

Your or a donor provides stem cells for transplant

Stem cell collection is a relatively painless procedure. It takes three to five days to collect your stem cells for an autologous transplant. It takes one to two days to collect donor stem cells for an allogeneic transplant. For either type of transplant, it takes four or five hours for each day's collection.

If your donor is related, we will evaluate him or her before the stem cell collection. This will include an electrocardiogram, chest X-ray and blood tests. The evaluation and collection process will take seven to 10 days.

We match patients with unrelated donors who are registered with the National Marrow Donor Program. These donors are evaluated in their home cities before they donate.

Peripheral blood stem cells

This type of transplant has become more common than bone marrow stem cell transplants. Peripheral stem cells are easier to collect because donors don't require general anesthesia during collection.

During the collection procedure, called apheresis, we draw donor blood into a vessel and separate the stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor.

Before and during collection, the donor will have injections of protein growth factors. Called mobilization, this stimulates the bone marrow to increase the number of stem cells in the blood.

Bone marrow collection

We collect bone marrow stem cells from the pelvic bone and freeze them until the time of transplant. Because this requires general anesthesia, donors may stay in the hospital overnight.

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