Jacobs Journal of Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Research

The Double Face of Janus: A Historical Account of the Emergence of Bone Marrow Transplantation

Published on: 2017-10-16


History of modern blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) emerged, as is the case with most new biomedical interventions from sustained clinical and scientific research. But BMT also has a much darker antecedent – nuclear power and chemical warfare. It is important that we know the full story of the emergence of BMT for two reasons. The first is that it illustrates how accounts of the history of medicine in terms of heroes and beneficent progress are simplistic and often erroneous. The second is that it reminds us that biomedical knowledge may arise from human misery and may also cause it.


Bone Marrow Transplantation, BMT; Hematopoiesis; Histocompatibility; Ionizing Radiation; Chemical Warfare; History of Medicine