A donor stem cell transplant replaces bone marrow that is no longer working properly with healthy stem cells from your donor.
The donor stem cells make new red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. This gives you a new, healthy bone marrow. The transplant also gives you your donor’s immune system (white blood cells). This helps your body to get rid of any remaining cancer or leukaemia cells.
A donor stem cell transplant can sometimes be used to treat different blood cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. It may also be used to treat some other blood conditions.
Your donor may be a family member or an unrelated donor. Some people may be given stem cells from an umbilical cord.
Donor stem cell transplants are only done in specialised transplant units by staff with specialist experience. Some people may need to travel quite far to their nearest unit. You will usually need to stay in hospital for several weeks. If you have family or a partner who want to stay nearby, your specialist nurse can give you advice about getting financial help.