What to Expect During Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy

At the Haley Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, we offer the latest treatment options and use the most up-to-date technology. Our Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy team will explain every step of the treatment process and prepare you and your child, so you know what to expect. Our team is committed to helping you feel comfortable while providing high-quality care.


Our team of compassionate, experienced medical experts will complete your child’s evaluation. During the process, we make sure your child is thoroughly screened while avoiding unnecessary procedures.

The evaluation process for a pediatric bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy may include:

  • Bone marrow biopsy (if needed)
  • Liver function tests
  • Kidney function tests
  • CT scans or other imaging
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • HLA tissue typing
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Psychological evaluations

Before Bone Marrow Transplant

Before your child’s bone marrow transplant, we will prepare and collect the stem cells. Our team will explain the procedures to you and your child, and we will make sure your child and their donor are comfortable with the process.

We collect stem cells from the donor or your child before treatment. The stem cells can come from either the blood or bone marrow. For cells from the blood, either your child or their donor will receive medicine to increase the number of white blood cells in the body. This is done so there are more cells to collect. These shots are not needed for stem cells from the bone marrow. 

Once healthy stem cells are collected, your child will be given a high dose of chemotherapy or radiation for five to 10 days to prepare their body for the transplant. This treatment makes room in the bone marrow for new cells, suppresses the immune system and destroys cancer cells.  

During Bone Marrow Transplant

Our goal is to help your child feel comfortable during the bone marrow transplant. Our team will prepare your child both physically and emotionally for the transplant. On transplant day, your child will receive an infusion through an IV in the vein of the new stem cells. This usually lasts for about 30 minutes. Your child will be awake during the procedure and should not feel any pain.

After Bone Marrow Transplant

After a bone marrow transplant, your child’s immune system will be weak, which means an increased vulnerability to infection. You will need to pay close attention to your child’s hygiene (such as washing hands thoroughly) and avoid sick people, as well as places and activities that could put your child at risk of infection.

Your care team will go over the risks with you and your child and help you understand how to avoid them. You also will receive a bone marrow transplant patient card to keep with your child at all times for other healthcare providers to reference when necessary. This card will have your physician’s contact information, should you need it.