Department of Bone Marrow

Magadh Cancer Centre

Department of Bone Marrow


What is Bone Marrow?

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue that is located in the medullary cavities (centers) of certain large bones. Healthy bone marrow is an essential part of the body, as it contains stem cells that produce blood cells and the cells that make up the immune system. Bone marrow stem cells can mature into several different kinds of cells, each of which has its own vital functions within the body.

It is the blood cell 'factory'. Healthy bone marrow releases blood cells into the bloodstream when they are mature and when required. Without bone marrow, our bodies could not produce the white cells we need to fight infection, the red blood cells we need to carry oxygen, and the platelets we need to stop bleeding.

How to donate bone marrow or blood

Allogeneic blood and bone marrow transplants require a third-party donor. The recipient’s physician will recommend the approach—either bone marrow or blood—that’s best suited to the patient’s specific needs.

During a bone marrow donation procedure, a surgeon uses hollow needles to extract liquid bone marrow from the rear of the donor’s pelvic bones. The bone marrow donor is given anesthesia and thus doesn’t feel any pain during the collection. Once the removal is complete, the bone marrow is transported to wherever the recipient is located and then transplanted.

Bone marrow donors may experience the following side effects once the procedure is complete:
Difficulty sleeping
Pain in the back, hips, throat or muscles
Loss of appetite

These side effects typically resolve within a few days after the PBSC donation is completed.

What does bone marrow do?

As previously discussed, the function of bone marrow is to produce different types of cells that are vital to sustaining life. There are two types of human bone marrow: red bone marrow (myeloid tissue) and yellow bone marrow (fatty tissue).