There are many types of transplants and many diseases for which it is used as treatment. There are the main types of transplants:
- Autologous: This type of transplant involves collecting your child’s own marrow and freezing it for use at a later time. After receiving high dose chemotherapy and/or radiation, the cells are thawed and infused into your child.
- Allogeneic: This type of transplant involves taking stem cells from someone other than the patient. The donor may be a related or unrelated to the patient. To be a donor there is a specific test to be obtained. A special blood test, Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) tissue typing, is performed to find the best donor match. Ideally, the donor’s cells match the patient’s cells to ensure that the stem cells will be accepted by the patient; however, it is possible to use a less than full match for transplantation. The process of tissue typing and matching is explained in detail in the following section. After your child has received high dose chemotherapy and/or radiation, the stem cells from the donor is collected and infused into your child. These types of transplants include bone marrow stem cells, peripheral blood stem cells and umbilical cord blood. Typically the stem cells are not frozen unless they are from an unrelated donor or are collected in advance.