Bone Marrow (stem cell) Transplant

The bone marrow is the ‘factory’ which makes our blood cells. Bone marrow is contained in the middle of your bones. Stem cells are found in bone marrow.

Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation is part of the treatment of some cancers.

Who we are

We are the regional centre for bone marrow and stem cell transplants. We offer transplants to patients from Merseyside, Isle of Man, parts of Cheshire and North Wales.

What we do

Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation is an important treatment for some patients with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. For some patients, a transplant may offer the best chance of cure. In other patients, a transplant is used for prolonging remission (time to needing more treatment for their blood cancer).

Intensive chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy is given to destroy cancer cells. This puts enormous strain on the body. It can cause significant side-effects and complications. Because of this, transplants are not for everybody.

Transplants can either use the patient’s own stem cells (autologous transplant), or stem cells from a donor (allogeneic transplant).

Allogeneic transplants are usually only possible if the donor has the same or very close tissue type (white cell blood group) as you. A matched brother or sister is ideal, but it is often possible to find a good donor from the national and international donor panels.

Facilities (based at the Royal Liverpool Hospital)

We have 11 single rooms with en-suite facilities. Each room has special air-flow systems to reduce potential contamination. All patients remain in isolation during treatment.

Clinical trials

We aim to offer the very latest treatment options for all our patients, and this may mean entering a clinical trial. Trials are very important for developing:

  • better forms of treatment before a transplant
  • ways of preventing infections, especially with viruses, after the transplant
  • ways of minimising relapse after the transplant.

You may therefore meet a clinical trials nurse who will explain things to you in more detail.

More information

These treatments are very intensive. It may be stressful for you and your friends and relatives. Our haematology counsellor is there to provide support and help you with any problems and concerns you have.