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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



stem cell transplant  listen  (stem sel TRANZ-plant)

  A method of replacing immature blood-forming cells in the bone marrow that have been destroyed by drugs, radiation, or disease. Stem cells are injected into the patient and make healthy blood cells. A stem cell transplant may be autologous (using a patient’s own stem cells that were saved before treatment), allogeneic (using stem cells donated by someone who is not an identical twin), or syngeneic (using stem cells donated by an identical twin).

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Drawing of stem cells being removed from a patient or donor. Blood is collected from a vein in the arm and flows through a machine that removes the stem cells; the remaining blood is returned to a vein in the other arm.
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Drawing of a health care provider giving a patient treatment to kill blood-forming cells. Chemotherapy is given to the patient through a catheter in the chest.
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Drawing of stem cells being given to the patient through a catheter in the chest.