What Is a Stem Cell Injection?


Quick Answer

A stem cell injection is the infusion of healthy stem cells to replace cells that are damaged, according to Mayo Clinic. People whose bone marrow stops producing healthy stem cells may receive a stem cell transplant, and injections are sometimes used in patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

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Full Answer

A stem cell injection is also called a stem cell, marrow or blood transplant, says Mayo Clinic. A stem cell transplant is used to reduce risks of anemia, bleeding and infections by helping a patient's body make enough healthy red blood cells, platelets or white blood cells. The healthy stem cells can be taken from a patient's own body, from a donor or an identical twin. Stem cell transplants help people whose own stem cells have been damaged by a disease or its treatment. Patients with blood disorders such as leukemia and various noncancerous and cancerous diseases may benefit from a stem cell injection because the donor cells create healthy new cells and kill some types of cancer cells.

There are different types of stem cells formed at different times and from various places in the body, including embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, explains the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Embryonic stem cells appear only in the earliest stages of development, while adult, or tissue-specific stem cells, persist in the body for life. Tissue-specific stem cells are specialized so their potential uses are limited.

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