Bone Marrow Transplant or Stem Cell Transplant?

Stem cells are a self-renewing population of cells that reside in the bone marrow, but can be found in large number in blood (peripheral stem cells), if the donor receives medication called growth factors. It can also be found in cord blood, which lowers the risk of graft-vs-host disease, but the amount of stem cells found in cord blood is small.

Because bone marrow was the original stem cell source since the 1960s, “bone marrow transplant” is the term most often used, but it is the stem cells taken from the bone marrow and other blood sources that are actually transplanted and grew in the recipient.