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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

Blood & Marrow Transplant
Transplant Basics

How are stem cells collected?

There are two different methods to collect stem cells.

  1. Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection. Stem cells can be collected from the blood. This procedure is called a peripheral blood stem cell collection. This technique does not require surgery. It does, however, involve a few more steps than a conventional bone marrow harvest. Prior to the collection, the donor is given a medication to promote the growth and release of stem cells from the bone into the blood. The stem cells are then collected using a special machine called a Cell Separator. This technique has dramatically increased in popularity over the last ten years. Stem cells are generally collected using this method here at the Leukemia/BMT Program of BC.
  2. Bone Marrow Harvest. Stem cells can be collected directly from the bone marrow spaces, most often from the pelvic bones. Several puncture sites are made along the bone and the cells are removed using a needle. This procedure is known as a bone marrow harvest. Note that this technique is used less often here at the Leukemia/BMT Program of BC.

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