This procedure is not really transplantation in the literal sense of the word. The stem cells are not transfused from a donor to a recipient, but are harvested from the same patient at an earlier time and then stored. The purpose of this procedure is to permit highly intensive chemotherapy while supporting hematopoiesis and the immune system. Stem cells may be removed from the iliac crest in the form of bone marrow or taken from the circulating (peripheral) blood using a procedure known as leukapheresis.
Peripheral stem cell harvesting is the predominant procedure at this center. It can be carried out in children starting at a minimum body weight of approximately 5 kg.