Can allogeneic bone marrow transplant be done for outpatients?

John P. Chute, MD
Hematology & Oncology
Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, or allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, involves taking cells from a healthy donor and infusing them into a recipient. This has traditionally been done in the hospital. But we can now perform some of these transplants in the outpatient setting.

Before, patients—typically young people with acute leukemia—would be admitted to the hospital to receive high-dose chemotherapy or radiation, or both, to wipe out the immune system and the cancer at once. It’s extremely toxic. Such people needed to be in the hospital in a protected environment.

But we’ve learned we can safely perform allogeneic bone marrow transplantation without high-dose radiation or high-dose chemotherapy. We’ve developed immunosuppressive antibodies and medications that allow rapid transplantation of donor stem cells in a recipient in the outpatient setting. Only select centers can do this in the outpatient setting.

This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.

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