Bone marrow is the soft tissue in the core of most bones, and its primary function is the creation of new blood cells. Leukemia occurs when certain types of blood cells produced in the marrow don’t mature normally.
A bone marrow transplant is a treatment where healthy bone marrow cells are used to replace a patient’s existing marrow cells in order to prevent the further production of leukemia cells.
Most leukemia patients don’t receive a bone marrow transplant. BMTs are typically considered for one of several reasons:
- the patient did not go into remission by day 29
- the patient is determined to have a high risk of relapse
- the patient has relapsed more than once already
- the patient was diagnosed as an infant