What is bone marrow harvest?

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy substance that fills the inner cavities of bones. It is where blood is produced. Tiny spaces in the bone marrow hold blood and stem cells, the primitive cells that are able to grow into various types of blood cells.

During a bone marrow harvest, a small portion of your bone marrow is collected, or harvested, to use for transplantation.

Bone marrow transplants have different names, depending on who is getting the marrow. An autologous bone marrow transplant is when you have your bone marrow harvested and frozen (cryopreserved) for future use. An allogeneic bone marrow transplant is when you have your bone marrow harvested for a relative, usually a brother or sister. For a syngeneic transplant, the marrow is harvested for an identical twin, and an unrelated bone marrow transplant is when you are donating through the donor registry.