A stem cell transplant or a bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace your diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. A bone marrow transplant, in combination with chemotherapy, is a treatment option that offers a better chance for durable remission for people with multiple myeloma. Because the chemotherapy attacks all the blood cells in the bone marrow—not just the multiple us myeloma cells—a stem cell transplant provides the body with a new source of healthy cells.
Bone marrow transplants are no longer done in multiple myeloma. Instead, almost all transplants in multiple myeloma are now obtained from the blood and are referred to as peripheral blood stem cell transplants.
There are generally two types of stem cell transplant performed for multiple myeloma:
- Autologous stem cell transplant, which uses the patient’s own stem cells
- Allogeneic stem cell transplant, which uses stem cells from a donor