Collecting stem cells
Your cells will be collected and stored before the high-dose treatment. This happens a few days or weeks before the treatment.
The stem cells are normally taken from the blood. You will be given daily injections of a growth factor (G-CSF), which helps the stem cells mobilize. Once mobilized, the stem cells will be collected. This takes between 3 and 4 hours using a machine. Stem cells can be taken a second time if the first time wasn't sufficient.
In some cases, the stem cells may be obtained from the bone marrow. This is done under anesthesia. The stem cells are normally taken from the bone marrow in the pelvis.
The stem cells collected are counted to make sure there are enough of them. They are later frozen and stored in the laboratory until needed.
Any blood or platelet transfusions you have before or after the collection will be treated with radiation to avoid any problems caused by white blood cells in the donation.