DR ROB STEPNEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. DR ROB STEPNEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Treatment of acute leukaemia by bone marrow transplant: doctors harvest bone marrow from the donor, the recipient's brother. Marrow is sucked up through large bore needles from punctures made into the iliac crests - the ridges of bone at top and back of the pelvis. The donated marrow was infused into the recipient's bloodstream after she had undergone radical radiotherapy and chemotherapy, performed to combat any active leukaemia cells and to disable her own bone marrow (and hence her immune system) and thus prevent a rejection of transplanted marrow. A quantity of her own marrow was initially taken as a safeguard against the ultimate failure of the transplant.
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