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Blood and marrow transplant

A blood and marrow transplant is a procedure where healthy stem cells are taken from one area of your body or from another person (a donor), and placed into your bloodstream to boost cell growth in your bone marrow.

Blood and marrow transplant in North Texas

At Medical City Dallas and Medical City Children's Hospital, we offer patients access to blood and bone marrow transplant procedures.

As a member of the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network, we are included within a larger organization of cancer care resources.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

What is a bone marrow transplant?

A bone marrow transplant, also referred to as a stem cell transplant, is a procedure which restores stem cells that have been destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Through the Medical City Healthcare transplant program, three types of transplants are available:

  • Autologous transplant: Patients receive their own stem cells. The patient's stem cells or marrow are collected, frozen and stored. When needed, the stem cells are thawed and infused into the patient. The cells or marrow can be stored for years after freezing. Autologous transplant patients donate their cells prior to the therapy.
  • Syngeneic transplant: Patients receive stem cells from their identical twin.
  • Allogeneic transplant: Patients receive stem cells or marrow from a donor. The donor could be a sibling or a person who is not related to the patient. Blood tests determine the degree of compatibility between the patient and donor. Allogeneic transplant donors usually donate cells on the day before or the day of transplant.

Prior to the stem cell transplant procedure, patients receive very high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The chemotherapy is called "high dose" because the doses are five to 10 times higher than the doses given during standard chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy generally affect cells that divide rapidly, thus targeting cancer cells. After the therapy is given, the patient is given the donor cells, or transplant, to create a new immune system.

The healthy transplanted stem cells can restore the bone marrow's ability to produce the blood cells needed.

If transplanted stem cells come from an umbilical cord, the cord will arrive in the stem cell laboratory prior to the start of the high dose therapy.

Blood and marrow transplant services for children

At Medical City Children's Hospital, we perform blood and marrow transplants for pediatric patients with leukemia, other types of cancer and blood disorders. We are a leader in stem cell transplant and research, offering the only accredited program in North Texas for pediatric stem cell transplants.

Blood cancer care

Blood or marrow stem cell transplants are also performed for patients with cancer who undergo high doses of radiation therapy. The blood cancers that are able to be treated with a blood or marrow stem cell transplant include lymphoma, myeloma and leukemias.

Father-Son Bone Marrow Transplant

After feeling tired and ill for weeks, Tait Cruse was diagnosed with leukemia and found out he had days to live. He immediately sought treatment at Medical City Dallas with Vikas Bhushan, MD. After chemotherapy, Tait's son Carson found out he could be his bone marrow donor. Two years later, Tait celebrated with Dr. Bhushan in a heartfelt reunion.

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