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Stem cell transplantation: paediatric

Published on 07 February 2024

The service provides hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to children, including all assessments and follow up. It covers anyone up to the age of 16, but young people known to the service still receive treatment until the age of 18. The Paediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Service is located at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.

What is stem cell transplantation?

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a medical procedure in which a patient receives healthy stem cells (precursors of blood cells) to replace bone marrow that's either faulty or destroyed during chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

In an allogeneic transplant, the patient receives stem cells donated by another person. This is in contrast to autologous transplantation, where the patient's own cells are used.

Conditions requiring allogeneic HSCT fall under two main categories:

  • disorders that comprise mostly blood cancers, such as leukaemia
  • non-malignant conditions like haemoglobinopathies, primary immune deficiencies, inherited metabolic disorders and non-malignant bone marrow failure

A full list of all paediatric indications for HSCT is maintained by the British Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BSBMT) and available from their website.