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How does stem cell transplantation treat hematologic cancer?

Stem cell transplantation does not usually directly treat hematologic cancer. Its main use in hematologic cancer therapy is to restore the function of the bone marrow after it has been impaired by invasion with cancer cells or by its treatment. Stem cell transplantation is most commonly used after high-dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy have destroyed many of the normal cells in the bone marrow. Without the option of stem cell transplantation, such potent anticancer therapy is not possible and the chances of cure are less. Stem cell transplantation can also be administered after less strong doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which do not destroy all the cancer cells in the bone marrow. In this situation, the infused cells will not only produce normal blood cells to replace those lacking because of the cancer or therapy, but white blood cells which are often present in the stem cell mixture may directly attack and destroy the cancer cells.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.