The classic source of HSCs is bone marrow. Bone marrow is the tissue found in the hollow interior of our bones. About 1 in every 100,000 cells in the marrow is a long-term, blood-forming stem cell that reproduces and differentiates into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
The bone marrow is a key component of the lymphatic system that produces HSCs to support the body's immune system. When HSCs are required by a patient, the stem cells can be extracted from a bone marrow donor directly from the pelvis bone under general anaesthesia. The procedure is minimally invasive and, depending on the donor's health and reaction to the procedure, usually takes only two days stay in hospital.