Bone marrow in both adults and children can become damaged. One of the causes of this is leukemia. Other patients have a congenital abnormality of the bone marrow stem cells, which means that insufficient healthy blood cells are produced.
Stem-cell therapy is often also used against the devastating effects of chemotherapy on the blood cells.
Transplanting undifferentiated stem cells – cells that do not yet have a clear purpose – from healthy donors into the bloodstream of a sick patient increases the chance that the sick patient will be able to produce healthy blood again themselves.