Stem cell transplants for CML

A stem cell transplant is mainly used to treat people who haven’t responded to treatment with TK inhibitors. At least two TK inhibitors are usually used first. If your doctor thinks a stem cell transplant is appropriate for you, they will discuss it with you in more detail.

Stem cell transplants are only carried out in specialist cancer treatment centres.

A stem cell transplant allows you to have much higher doses of chemotherapy than usual. You may also have radiotherapy (high-energy rays) to the whole body. This can help improve the chances of curing the leukaemia or make a remission last longer.

Stem cells are found inside our bone marrow. They make all the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood.

There are two types of stem cell transplant:

  • Allogeneic transplants – when you are given stem cells from someone else (a donor).
  • Autologous transplants (also known as high-dose treatment with stem cell support) – when you are given back your own stem cells.

People with CML are almost always treated using stem cells from a donor.

Back to Stem cell and bone marrow transplants explained

Your feelings

You may experience difficult feelings after your treatment. Talking to those close to you can help.