What Is a Stem Cell Transplant?

A stem cell transplant is a method of replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by cancer treatment. A stem cell transplant involves giving immature blood cells (stem cells) to the patient after treatment. The goal of a stem cell transplant is to help the bone marrow recover and continue to make healthy blood cells. Stem cell transplants may also be called peripheral stem cell support.

What are stem cells? 

Stem cells are immature cells that are able to produce other blood cells that mature and function as needed. These cells are used in stem cell transplants, which help cancer patients produce new blood cells after their own hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cells have been eliminated by radiation therapy and chemotherapy.