FAQ

When is a bone marrow transplant recommended?

When bone marrow transplant is the best treatment modality for a particular daignosis, or when other treatments fail, or the individual's disease is resistant to other therapy

What are some diseases treated by bone marrow transplants?

Acute myelogenous leukemia
Acute lymphocytic leukemia
Hodgkin's disease, & Lymphoma
Bone & soft tissue sarcomas
Neuroblastoma, Aplastic anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia
Immunological disorders

What is the treatment and recovery like?

This is dependent on the child's basic disease and the type of transplant selected. In most situations the patient will receive large doses of chemotherapy and radiation followed by infusion of the "rescue" bone marrow or stem cells. The patient will experience side effects of chemotherapy. All attepmts are made to minimize the side-effects of treatment.

What is Marrow?

Marrow is found in the cavities of the body's bones. It resembles blood and contains stem cells, which produce red cells, white cells and other blood components.

Who needs a marrow transplant?

Marrow transplantation has become the only real "cure" for many diseases. Approximately 75 percent of all transplants facilitated through the NMDP are for patients who have been diagnosed with some form of leukemia. Marrow transplants are also a treatment for patients with anemia, lymphomas, and a number of other life threatening blood diseases.

What is the chance of matching a patient?

The odds vary widely, depending on the rarity of the patient's tissue type. This means a volunteer may never be called. However, if identified as a matched donor, the volunteer may be the only person who can provide lifesaving marrow to that patient.

When a volunteer matches what's next?

Once additional laboratory tests have determined that a potential donor matches a patient, the volunteer must decide whether to donate. Before making a final commitment to donate, the potential donor attends a thorough information session with his/her NMDP Donor Center personnel. Often, the prospective donor's spouse or other family members are asked to participate in this conference or to review the extensive educational materials. After the information session and a thorough physical examination, the potential donor decides whether to become a donor. Before signing the "Intent to Donate" form, the potential donor must be certain about his or her decision to donate marrow. Because the treatment destroys the immune system, the potential recipient will most likely die if he or she does not receive a marrow transplant.

What if I am determined to be a Precise Match?

If further testing shows you to be a precise match for the patient, you will attend a thorough information session about the donation process and your options as a potential donor. The next step will be a physical examination and your decision as to whether or not you wish to become a volunteer bone marrow donor.