Stem cell transplant for non-Hodgkin lymphoma
If non-Hodgkin lymphoma returns (recurs) or does not respond to initial treatment, you may need high doses of chemotherapy to help destroy the cancer cells. This can also damage the stem cells, and you may need a stem cell transplant to help restore the bone marrow and rebuild your immune system.
Stem cells are unspecialised blood cells. Most stem cells are found in the bone marrow, but a small number are also found in the blood – these are called peripheral blood stem cells.
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There are two main types of stem cell transplants.
Autologous transplant – when your stem cells are removed from your blood and later put back (reinfused) into your body. This is the most common type of transplant used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Allogeneic transplant – when the stem cells are collected from another person (a donor). This type of transplant is less commonly used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
A stem cell transplant is a demanding treatment and is not suitable for everyone, especially people with other health problems. The entire procedure, including recovery, can take months. A transplant is done in several steps.
For more information, talk to your transplant team, contact the Leukaemia Foundation on 1800 620 420.
Dr Ian Bilmon, Haematologist, Westmead and Sydney Adventist Hospitals; Dr Anne Capp, Radiation Oncologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Rachelle Frith, Clinical Nurse Consultant Haematology, Prince of Wales Hospital; Jason Gardner, Consumer; A/Prof Angela Hong, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Samantha Rennie, Social Worker, Cancer Services, St George Hospital. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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