Bone marrow transplantation is done to treat certain types of cancer. Bone marrow produces stem cells which later develop into blood cells. The stem cells of the bone marrow are harvested from the donors bones and injected into the patients bones. There are two stages involved. The first stage consists of collection of peripheral blood stem cells and the second stage is bone marrow harvesting.
In the first stage blood is withdrawn from a vein and the stem cells are removed and separated. In Bone marrow harvesting, a needle is inserted into the soft part the bone, usually the thigh bone and the stem cells are collected. Bone marrow harvesting is carried out under anesthesia and the donor may only feel some pain when the effect of the anesthesia wears off. Bone marrow transplantation is usually accompanied by chemotherapy and possibly radiation to destroy the malignant cells, thereby making place for the new, healthy cells.