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Blood and Marrow Transplant in Austin

Blood and marrow transplants (BMT) offer treatment options for diseases once thought incurable. BMT is commonly used for patients diagnosed with leukemia, aplastic anemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, immune deficiency disorders, and some solid tumors.

There are multiple types of transplants. The specific type of transplant depends on your diagnosis and condition. With all transplants, immature blood-forming cells called hematopoietic stem cells are infused into your body to help it build new healthy cells that repopulate your body with healthy, non-diseased cells. Hematopoietic stem cells build white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in your bone marrow and blood stream.

Types of Blood Marrow Transplants

There are three types of blood and marrow transplants:

  • Autologous BMT uses your own bone marrow, which is extracted and stored for future use.
  • Allogeneic BMT uses bone marrow or stem cells from a donor source. Donor sources may include family members, unrelated people, or umbilical cord blood. Testing is conducted to match the genetic makeup of the donor and the patient.
  • Syngeneic BMT uses bone marrow or stem cells from a twin.

The Transplant Process

The first step in a blood stem cell transplant is apheresis. During apheresis, stem cells are extracted from the donor or patient (depending on the type of transplant), while the blood is returned to your body.

During the BMT process, your diseased bone marrow is destroyed with high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation. The healthy harvested cells are then infused back into your bloodstream.

Infusion of the stem cells may last 10 minutes to three hours, depending on the quantity and source of the cells. While the transplant itself only takes a few hours, it can take several months for the complete marrow transition. Many transplant patients require hospitalization at some point during the transplant process, although the length of the hospital stay will vary based on the type of transplantation and your condition.

Texas Oncology, in affiliation with St. David’s HealthCare, the Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, and the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network, provides treatment for adult patients in the Central Texas region.

Please contact your cancer center for more information.