Bone marrow transplants are used most commonly to treat leukemias, lymphomas, Hodgkin's disease, and multiple myeloma. Bone marrow transplantation is particularly helpful, since these diseases affect the bone marrow directly.
Bone marrow transplants also can be used to treat noncancerous conditions, including aplastic anemia, congenital deficiencies of the immune system and thalassemia major. In these conditions, a new bone marrow and new bone marrow cells are needed because the diseased bone marrow is not able to produce necessary cells that may be helpful in fighting the disease to be treated.
The use of bone marrow transplants to treat other types of cancer, including breast cancer and kidney cancer, remains experimental.