The transplant team will harvest the bone marrow (from your donor in allogeneic and syngeneic transplants, or from yourself in an autologous transplant) under general anaesthesia.
- To harvest the bone marrow, a needle is inserted through the skin into the posterior space of the hip bone (above the buttocks).
- It involves minimal risks and discomfort, and more than 1 punctures might be needed to collect enough cells for the transplant.
- The risks linked with the bone marrow harvest include infection, bleeding, or pain from the harvest sites, as well as risks linked with general anaesthesia.
Before the stem cells transplant, you will receive high doses of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or both, to destroy all cancer cells as well as the normal blood cells in your bone marrow. This is known as the conditioning treatment.
- The conditioning treatment varies as it depends on the type of cancer you have, the type of transplant you are receiving, and any previous cancer treatment you may have had before.
- The patient may feel the after effects of the therapy like vomiting and high fever.
- After the conditioning treatment, the harvested stem cells are given to you through an intravenous (IV) catheter (similar to a blood transfusion).