Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Lupus Health Center

Font Size

Stem Cell Transplant for Lupus - Topic Overview

Stem cell transplantation is the replacement of damaged bone marrow cells with healthy cells, or stem cells. It is generally done after powerful drugs have been used to wipe out the damaged immune system (immunoablation).

Stem cells are immature cells that are produced in the bone marrow. They can divide to produce more stem cells or mature into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Recommended Related to Lupus

Lupus Diet and Nutrition

There are no foods that cause lupus or that can cure it. Still, good nutrition is an important part of an overall treatment plan for the disease. In general, people with lupus should aim for a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It should also include moderate amounts of meats, poultry, and oily fish. If you have lupus, following a varied, healthy diet may help: Reduce inflammation and other symptoms Maintain strong bones and muscles Combat...

Read the Lupus Diet and Nutrition article > >

Stem cell transplantation has serious risks. After a person's stem cells have been collected from the bloodstream, they are returned to the bloodstream along with a stem cell growth factor. If successful, the stem cells help the bone marrow return to a healthy state. But during the two weeks that the immune system requires to become strong again, the body is extremely vulnerable to life-threatening infection.

Small studies of stem cell transplantation for people with severe lupus have shown that it may help some people but it also has serious side effects.1 This procedure is considered a high-risk, expensive, and experimental treatment for lupus.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 10, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Stem Cell Transplant for Lupus Topics

Today on WebMD

Lupus Overview Slideshow
Slideshow
sunburst filtering through leaves
Article
 
lupus medication
Article
Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
Slideshow
 
Woman rubbing shoulder
Slideshow
Bag of cosmetics
Video
 
young woman hiding face
Quiz
pregnant woman
Article
 
5 Lupus Risk Factors
Article
Young adult couple
Article
 
doctor advising patient
Article
sticky notes on face
Video
 

WebMD Special Sections