Bone marrow TRANSPLANTATION (BMT) is a treatment used in some types of cancer.Bone marrow is the soft, spongy area in the center of some of the larger bones of the body. The marrow produces all of the different cells that make up the blood, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. All of these cells develop from a type of basic cell found in the bone marrow, called a stem cell.In bone marrow TRANSPLANTATION, the patient is given very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which kills cancer cells and destroys all the normal cells developing in the bone marrow, including the critical stem cells. After the treatment, the patient must have a healthy supply of hematopoietic stem cells reintroduced, or transplanted.There are two types of bone marrow TRANSPLANTATION, autologous and allogeneic. An autologous bone marrow transplant uses a patient's own bone marrow or blood. An allogeneic bone marrow transplantat uses a donor's bone marrow or blood. The donor is usually a relative of the patient (eg, sister), although unrelated donors are sometimes used.Most patients who have bone marrow TRANSPLANTATION must remain in the hospital for several days or weeks during their treatment and recovery. It is important to understand and follow the hospital's bone marrow TRANSPLANTATION treatment plan to minimize the risk of complications (eg, infection) and to know what to expect in advance.The treatments required before and during bone marrow TRANSPLANTATION can have serious side effects. Patients should be aware of the most common side effects (eg, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores) as well as the types of treatments that are available to improve comfort.Following bone marrow TRANSPLANTATION, most people stay in the hospital for several weeks. However, even after going home, frequent visits with a doctor or nurse are needed for 3 to 6 months.