The rate of treatment of cancer and non-cancer blood diseases in hematology is increasing day by day. Bone marrow transplantation is an elite treatment approach that has an important place in the treatment of hematological diseases. Stem cells, or “Bone marrow transplant,” as it is known among people, are used in the treatment of blood cancers by obtaining stem cells from blood and umbilical cord other than bone marrow, thanks to new developing technologies. This treatment is divided into two autologous and allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. In the article, we will look for an answer to the “What is an allogeneic bone marrow transplant?” question.

Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation

Allogeneic stem cell transplant uses healthy “blood stem cells” from a donor to replace diseased or damaged bone marrow.

The donor could be a family member, acquaintance, or stranger. Cells used in allogeneic stem cell transplantation can collect from different sites such as:

  • From the donor’s blood
  • From the bone marrow in the donor’s hip bone
  • From donated umbilical cord blood

In Which Diseases Can It Be Applied?

Before an allogeneic stem cell transplant, high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy are taken to destroy diseased cells and prepare the body for donor cells. An allogeneic stem cell transplant may be an option for people with a variety of diseases, including:

  • Acute Leukemia
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Extreme Anemia
  • Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes
  • Chronic Leukemia
  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Immune Deficiencies
  • Inborn Errors Of Metabolism
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Plasma Cell Disorders
  • Poems Syndrome
  • Primary Amyloidosis


MUD (Matched Unrelated Donor)

If there is no suitable person in your family, someone else can become a donor through the national stem cell bank. This is a MUD (unrelated donor) transplant.

Blood is taken from the placenta, and the umbilical cord of newborn babies is a new source of stem cells for allogeneic transplantation. This blood sample, called cord blood, has a high number of stem cells. However, the number of stem cells in the cord blood is usually insufficient for large adults. For this reason, doctors apply cord blood primarily to small adults and children. Doctors are currently investigating using cord blood in different ways for transplantation.

Advantages of Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation

One advantage of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is that the donor stem cells form their immune cells. This helps to destroy cancer cells that may be left behind after high-dose treatment. Another possible advantage is that the donor can donate more stem cells or even white blood cells if needed. Stem cells from healthy donors also do not contain cancer cells.

Disclaimer and Risks

Allogeneic bone marrow transplants have many potential drawbacks. The body may not accept the transplanted cells, also called grafts. The donor cells may die or be destroyed by the patient’s body before they settle in the bone marrow. Another risk is that immune cells from the donor can attack the patient’s body. This condition is called graft-versus-host (reaction of donor tissue to the donee) disease. Also, even if donors are tested before the transplant, there is a minimal risk of some infections from donor cells. The higher risk is infections that you already have or that may occur due to suppression of your immune system. These infections often resurface after allogeneic transplants because your immune system has been controlled by drugs called immunosuppressants. These infections can cause serious problems, even death. Nevertheless, this method is one of the best treatments for the diseases mentioned in other parts of the article.