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Definition of Stem cell transplantation

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Stem cell transplantation: The use of stem cells as a treatment for cancer or other illness. The stem cells are removed (or obtained from a donor) first. Before the transplant is done, the patient receives high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to destroy diseased cells. Then the stem cells are returned to the patient, where they can produce new blood and immune cells and replace the cells destroyed by the treatment. The stem cell preparation is infused into a vein and, once in the bloodstream, the stem cells migrate to the bone marrow space.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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