Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) refers to a procedure in which hematopoietic stem cells are infused to restore bone marrow function in individuals with cancer who receive bone marrow toxic doses of cytotoxic drugs with or without whole body radiation therapy. Bone marrow stem cells may be obtained from the transplant recipient (autologous HCT) or from a donor (allogeneic HCT). They can be harvested from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood and placenta shortly after delivery of neonates. Although cord blood is an allogeneic source, the stem cells in it are antigenically “naïve” and thus are associated with a lower incidence of rejection or graft-versus-host disease.
Autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is considered experimental/investigational and therefore non-covered for the treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer. At present, the evidence is insufficient to recommend this intervention in either first-line therapy or for individuals in whom epithelial ovarian cancer has relapsed following standard chemotherapy.