Less common problems

Sometimes the infusion of stem cells does not work and the bone marrow does not produce enough new blood cells. This is known as graft failure. It can lead to repeated infections, bruising, bleeding and anaemia. In this situation, growth factors may be used to try to stimulate the bone marrow to recover.

Total graft failure is very rare, and the only way to treat this is with a second infusion of stem cells.


All blood in the UK is screened for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. People having high-dose treatment with stem cell support now have blood or platelet transfusions checked for hepatitis E virus (HEV). This is to reduce the risk of getting it from blood transfusions.

HEV is not easily passed from person to person. It can also be present in pork products, shellfish and other meat.

It is usually a very mild infection that goes away by itself. But if your immune system is weak, it may not be able to get rid of it. In some people who do not get rid of it over time, it may lead to liver problems.

Back to Side effects of high-dose treatment with stem cell support

Potential side effects

You will be monitored very closely for any side effects after your high-dose treatment.