Stem Cell vs Bone Marrow Transplant: What Are the Differences?

Sometimes it takes a miraculous intervention to save a life. Sometimes that life is your own.

When you’re suffering from a severe illness that medicine can’t fix, you hope that science is on your side. While doctors and scientists are constantly working to develop treatment methods that heal the body, the successful ones are ones that use stem cells or bone marrow transplants.

But sometimes, the terminology can get confusing.

In this article, we’ll help you know the difference between stem cell vs bone marrow transplant so you can choose the best option for yourself.

What Is a Bone Marrow Transplant?

A bone marrow transplant has been used for decades. It is a procedure whereby healthy cells from the bone marrow are transplanted into a patient with damaged or diseased bone marrow.

This can be a lifesaving treatment for conditions such as leukemia and lymphoma. Bone marrow transplants are generally considered to be more successful, due to the higher number of healthy cells that are transplanted.

This can lead to a quicker and more complete recovery. But this transplant is only an option for patients with a donor who is a close match. It is also a much more expensive procedure.

What Is a Stem Cell Transplant?

Stem cell transplants can be an option for patients who are unable to undergo a bone marrow transplant, either due to a lack of matching donors or due to health reasons.

The stem cells are usually taken from the patient’s peripheral blood instead of bone marrow. The stem cells are then transplanted back into the patient.

Stem cell transplants are less likely to result in transplant rejection. This is because stem cells have the ability to regenerate, whereas bone marrow does not.

Stem cells can also be cryopreserved, or frozen, which allows them to be stored for longer periods of time and makes them more readily available for transplant.

There are two types of stem cell transplants:


The patient’s own stem cells are collected and stored prior to treatment. This type has no risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).


The stem cells are donated by a donor. GVHD is a serious complication that can occur after an allogeneic transplant, in which the donor’s immune cells attack the patient’s healthy cells.

This can happen because the donor and recipient have different tissue types (called HLA types). GVHD can be mild, moderate, or severe. It can start days or even months after the transplant.

Stem cell and bone marrow transplants are two different types of procedures used to treat cancer. The medicine keeps evolving stem cells for back pain, fungal infection, and other illnesses that can also cure.

Understanding Stem Cell vs Bone Marrow Transplant

There are many important differences between stem cell vs bone marrow transplant, including the type of cells used, the risks involved, and the potential benefits.

Ultimately, the decision on which type of transplant to undergo should be made based on the individual patient’s needs and preferences. It is important to consult with your doctor to determine which procedure is right for you.

If you enjoyed our article, feel free to check out some of our other posts.

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