Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplants
During an allogeneic stem cell transplant, you receive stem cells from a donor after you complete other treatments. These stem cells create a new immune system that can fight lingering cancer cells and help prevent a relapse.
Stem cell sources for allogeneic transplants
To make transplants as successful as possible, our team compares your white blood cells with those of a potential donor. White blood cell proteins called human leukocyte antigens (HLA) should match as closely as possible.
During an allogeneic stem cell transplant, you may receive stem cells from:
- A relative: You have the best chance of matching with a sibling because you share your parents’ genes. There is a 25 percent chance that you and a sibling will match.
- An unrelated donor: If you do not match with a family member, your transplant team will try to find an unrelated donor through the National Marrow Donor Program.
- Umbilical cord blood: When an unrelated donor match cannot be found, our doctors may use stem cells donated from umbilical cord blood. Our doctors use umbilical cord blood from two different infants to get enough stem cells for one adult transplant.
Conditions possibly requiring an allogeneic stem cell transplant
Allogeneic transplants are used to treat:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Severe aplastic anemia
Advantages and disadvantages of allogeneic stem cell transplants
Benefits and risks of allogeneic stem cell transplants include:
- You get cancer-fighting donor cells: Donor stem cells make their own immune cells in your body. This new immune system is more likely to recognize and kill cancer cells that remain after cancer treatments. This graft-versus-cancer effect may prevent a relapse.
- Donor cells may attack healthy cells: Graft-versus-host disease can occur when donor immune cells see your body as foreign and try to kill off healthy cells in your organs, skin or digestive tract. We provide additional anti-rejection medications to stop GVHD.
- You get cancer-free stem cells: Donors undergo rigorous medical screenings. Their stem cells are known to be free of cancer.