Stem cells are early blood cells, which are able to make all the different types of blood cell you need. There are two types of stem cell transplant. One uses your own stem cells, and the other uses stem cells from someone else (a donor).
Most people who have NHL will not need a stem cell transplant. But it may be used to treat types of NHL that don’t respond well to the most commonly used chemotherapy treatments. It is also sometimes used to treat people who have NHL that has come back (relapsed) after treatment.
A stem cell transplant is an intensive treatment. It is only suitable for people who are fit enough to cope with the side effects. If it is recommended as part of your treatment, your doctor will discuss the possible benefits and disadvantages with you.
Because stem cell transplants are complicated treatments and carry some risk, they are done in specialist hospitals. This means you may have to be treated in a hospital some distance from your home.
Research is being done to find out how best to use stem cell transplants to treat NHL. Your specialist may talk to you about having a stem cell transplant as part of a cancer research trial.