There are three kinds of bone marrow transplants :
Autologous bone marrow transplant
"Auto" means "self." Stem cells are removed from patient’s own body before you receive high-dose chemotherapy treatment and stored in a freezer (cryopreservation). After high-dose chemotherapy treatments are done, your stems cells are re-infused in your body.
Allogeneic bone marrow transplant
"Allo" means "other." Stem cells are removed from another person, called a donor. The donor must match with you genetically. Special blood tests (HLA TYPING) are done to determine if a donor is a good match for you. A brother or sister is most likely to be a good match. However, sometimes parents, children, and other relatives may be alternate donaors. Donors who are not related to you may be found through national bone marrow registries.
Umbilical cord blood transplant
Stem cells are removed from a newborn baby's umbilical cord immediately after birth. The stem cells are stored until they are needed for a transplant. Umbilical cord blood cells are so immature, there is less of a need for matching.
Before the transplant, chemotherapy, radiation, or both may be given. This may be done in two ways:
Ablative (myeloablative) treatment where high-dose chemotherapy, radiation, or both are given to kill any cancer cells. This also kills all healthy bone marrow that remains and allows new stem cells to grow in the bone marrow.
Reduced-intensity (nonmyeloablative) treatment, also called a mini transplant where patients receive lower doses of chemotherapy and radiation before a transplant. This has allowed older patients, and patients with other health problems to have a transplant.
A stem cell transplant is done after chemotherapy and radiation is complete. The stem cells are delivered into your bloodstream through a tube called a central venous catheter. The process is similar to getting a blood transfusion. The stem cells travel through the blood into the bone marrow. Usually, no surgery is needed.
Donor stem cells can be collected in two ways
Bone marrow harvest is a minor surgery is performed under general anesthesia, meaning the donor will be asleep and pain-free during the procedure. The bone marrow is removed from the back of both hip bones. The amount of marrow removed depends on the weight of the person who is receiving it.
Under Leukapheresis, the donor is given 5 days of shots to help stem cells move from the bone marrow into the blood. Next blood is removed from the donor through an IV line in a vein. The part of white blood cells that contains stem cells is then separated in a machine before being returned to the donor.