Allogeneic stem cell transplant is a procedure that transfers healthy donated stem cells to a patient whose own cells have been destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy.
'Allo' in allogeneic means the stem cells come from an 'other' person. The donor stem cells must have a genetic typing that matches the recipient's. Usually, donors come from a direct relation (such as a sibling).
If there is no familial match, compatible donors may be found through international bone marrow registries. Special blood tests are done to check for donor-recipient compatibility.
Stem cells can also come from the blood from the umbilical cords of newborns (cord blood) that has been stored. This type of treatment is mainly used for children as the number of stem cells in cord blood is not enough to treat adults.
In an allogeneic stem cell transplant, you receive stem cells donated by someone else. In contrast, an autologous stem cell transplant uses our own cells, which means you are your own donor.
In this type of transplant, your stem cells are harvested (removed), frozen and stored before you receive your high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatment. After your treatment, your stem cells are thawed and returned back into you.
Allogeneic stem cell transplants are used to treat conditions such as:
The advantages include the following:
The disadvantages include the following:
The side effects of a stem cell transplant may vary from person to person. Some individuals experience multiple side effects, while others may have fewer. Some side effects are short-term (acute), while others are long-term (chronic).
Many of the side effects result from the chemotherapy or radiation therapy given before the transplant. Others are related to the stem cell transplant.
Initial side effects can include:
Longer-term side effects can include:
After your stem cell transplant, your doctor will monitor you closely. They will take measures to prevent side effects and to quickly deal with any that develop.