Bone marrow is the spongy center of the bone. This place is filled with blood-producing cells, called stem cells, which develop into mature white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets. The marrow is the place where blood is produced. While white blood cells of various kinds make form a part of the immune system which fights infections, red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body and platelets help in clotting the blood to prevent bleeding. Stem cells are constantly produced by the marrow, and develop into the types of cells the body needs.
A bone marrow transplant replaces bone marrow that either is malfunctioning or has been damaged due to various reasons. The doctor may recommend a bone marrow transplant if the patient -
- has been confirmed to have cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and/or lymphoma.
- is suffering from disease that affects the production of bone marrow cells, such as congenital neutropenia, aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia and, thalassemia.
- had chemotherapy that destroyed the bone marrow
There are different types of procedures that exist for bone marrow transplant today.