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Progenitor cell transplantation
  • Relevant BNF section: 9.1.6


Many leukaemias and solid cancers are now treated with high-dose chemotherapy, an approach made possible by techniques that bolster haematological recovery when bone marrow suppression occurs. The conventional way of reversing marrow suppression has been to give an autologous bone marrow transplant (cells aspirated from the patient's own marrow). A newer technique, progenitor cell transplantation, also known as stem cell transplantation, is replacing bone marrow transplantation in this setting. It uses progenitor cells (derived from the pluripotent stem cells) which give rise to mature blood cells. These cells are taken from the patient's peripheral circulation and re-infused after high-dose chemotherapy. Here we describe progenitor cell transplantation and discuss how it compares with bone marrow transplantation.

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