Autologous Transplant — Chemotherapy
Most patients receive chemotherapy from their oncologist. The type of chemotherapy varies from disease to disease. The more chemotherapy that is given before collecting bone marrow cells, the less disease there is likely to be. However, chemotherapy often damages the bone marrow as well as cancer cells, which may make it difficult to collect enough healthy bone marrow cells to do a transplant. Therefore, the amount of chemotherapy given before transplant should be just enough to get the cancer under control. Prolonged use of some types of chemotherapy can cause extensive damage to the bone marrow, and these drugs are best avoided if possible. An example of this is melphalan, a drug commonly used for patients with a disease called multiple myeloma.