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How are stem cell transplants used to treat retinoblastoma?

Stem cell transplants are used to treat retinoblastoma in conjunction with chemotherapy. Rather than treat the cancer directly, they offset the direct effects of the drugs. The cells are taken from the child's body ahead of time, and then injected back after the chemotherapy. The stem cells enter bone marrow and begin to make new blood cells at a rate that would not have been possible under chemotherapy alone. The transplant allows chemotherapy in doses that might otherwise be lethal. However, this treatment is quite expensive and does not guarantee that there will be no damage.

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