If your cancer is not responding to chemotherapy or radiation , you may receive one of these treatments: bone marrow transplantation or peripheral stem cell transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplantation

Bone marrow transplantation is a procedure in which healthy stem cells (very immature cells that produce blood cells) from a donor's bone marrow are injected into your vein. The new cells travel through your bloodstream to your bone marrow where they can begin producing healthy blood cells.

The transplant replaces those cells destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Bone marrow transplantation may be performed using bone marrow from a donor or using your own stored bone marrow.

The newly injected cells should be free of cancer and able to produce healthy cells.

Peripheral Stem Cell Transplantation (PSCT)

Stem cells (very immature cells that produce blood cells) are removed from your circulating bloodstream before chemotherapy or radiation treatment, then replaced after treatment. Stem cells can mature into other types of blood cells.

This treatment allows you to receive high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. The transplanted stem cells then replace the healthy blood cells that were destroyed by the chemotherapy or radiation.

Prior to removing the cells, you may be given medication to boost the number of stem cells in your blood. Stem cells are removed from your blood through a catheter placed in your neck or chest. Stem cells are separated from other cells as the blood moves through a machine, a process called apheresis. The stem cells are stored and may receive treatment to kill any cancer cells that may be present. They are frozen until needed for transplant, and the rest of the blood is returned to the body. The process usually takes between 4-5 hours.