Stem Cell Transplantation Process

Below is a brief overview of the stem cell transplant process. Your child’s care team will provide more details and information that are specific to your child’s condition and treatment plan.

Pre-transplant Treatment

Shortly before your child’s stem cell transplant, your child will undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation. This treatment:

  • Destroys cancer cells in your child’s body
  • Suppresses your child’s immune system so the donor stem cells will not be rejected
  • Helps to make room for the new stem cells to grow

Your child will be in an isolation room after being admitted to the hospital.


Your child will receive the donor’s stem cells through a central line. It is very similar to receiving a blood transfusion. This will take place in your child’s hospital room. It will take 2-4 hours to complete.

Your Child will remain in the hospital until their blood counts recover and they have no other complications related to the transplant. This usually means about 4-6 weeks of admission time to the Stem Cell Unit.

Outpatient visits. Your child can leave the hospital once your child’s white blood cell count has recovered and s/he is no longer showing signs of side effects or infection. Your child will have frequent outpatient (clinic) visits immediately after discharge for the next 6-8 weeks.

Once your child returns to the care of your doctor at home, your child will visit our clinic 3, 6, and 12 months after the transplant. After that, our team will see your child once a year for a comprehensive evaluation in our late effects clinic.