Stem Cell Transplant

Stem-cells are immature cells found in the bone marrow that “grow up” to be blood cells. There are three types of blood cells: white blood cells, which fight infection; red blood cells, which carry oxygen to and remove waste products from organs and tissues; and platelets, which enable the blood to clot. In a stem-cell transplant, cells are taken from a patient’s bone marrow or peripheral blood, cleansed of any cancer cells, and frozen until they are ready to be used.

Stem Cell Pre-Collection and Mobilization

The first step in the stem cell transplant process is referred to as pre-collection. During this time, patients undergo mobilization. In this video, Dr. Pagel, medical oncologist, answers some frequently asked questions about the pre-collection process.

Stem Cell Collection

After mobilization, a patient’s care team will decide when a patient is ready to begin the next step in the stem cell transplant process, known as collection. In this video, Dr. Pagel, medical oncologist, answers some frequently asked questions about the collection process.

Stem Cell Transplant

The final step of the stem cell transplant is the transplant itself. Stem cells that were previously mobilized and then collected will be returned to the patient’s body. In this video, Dr. Pagel, medical oncologist, answers some frequently asked questions about the transplant process.

Medical Oncologists

Medical oncologists are physicians who specialize in treating cancer with a variety of cancer-fighting medications. Our medical oncologists meet with patients and their families to determine an individualized treatment plan working with other cancer specialists and oncology nurses.

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If your doctor believes you are a good candidate to participate in a clinical trial evaluating a new treatment or more effective combinations of treatments – and you agree – you will have access to the very latest in research treatments.

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What cancer types can be treated with a stem cell transplant?

For a few types of cancer including leukemia, lymphoma - hodgkins and non-hodgkins and multiple myeloma, stem-cell transplantation may be effective.

Risks & side effects

Patients who undergo a stem-cell procedure may experience short-term side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, mouth sores, hair loss and skin reactions. Additionally, these patients are at high risk of infection during the seven to ten days that their blood counts are low.

Coordination of Insurance Benefits

Stem-cell transplant procedures are very expensive. Many health-insurance companies cover some of the costs of transplantation for certain types of cancer. Insurers may also cover a portion of the costs if special care is required when the patient returns home. Federal government programs and local service organizations may also be able to help.

See our insurance and financial resources

Appointments & Referrals

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If you need a help finding a medical oncologist or a location, call 855-XCANCER (855-922-6237) or 206-215-3600.