There are three types of bone marrow transplants currently used in the medical field.
Autologous bone marrow transplant: an autologous transplant consists of cells taken from one individual and transplanted back into the same individual.
Allogeneic bone marrow transplant: an allogeneic transplant consists of cells being taken from one individual and transplanted into another genetically distict individual.
Umbilical cord blood transplant: an umbilical cord transplant consists of cells being taken from one (or more) umbilical cords and transplanted into another genetically distict individual.
How is bone marrow harvested?
When bone marrow is taken from the donor, the process is referred to as a 'harvest'. Bone marrow can be harvested in one of several manners, but the most common processes are:
Bone marrow is harvested from the donor's bone marrow. In this process, the donor is admitted to outpatient surgery at a transplant center or a harvesting center. The donor is given anesthia. The harvest is done by doctors who will not be involved in the patient's routine care. The bone marrow is aspirated from the donor's hip bones.
Blood stem cells can also be harvested from the donor's peripheral bloodstream, which is the blood that flows thorugh the donor's veins. Prior to such a harvest, the donor would consume medications that would cause many blood stem cells to migrate to the freeflowing bloodstream. The blood stem cells are then harvested just as if the person was donating blood.
Umbililical code harvests occur directly after the baby is born, and the cells are extracted from the cord. These types of stem cells are infantile, hence they normally haven't been designated as any one particular type of cell.