Bone Marrow Transplant is a procedure where the blood stem cells are extracted from donors and filtered before being transplanted back into the patient. The primary objective of this procedure is to infuse healthy bone marrow cells after removing the diseased ones.
While a bone marrow transplant cost in India is high, it is the recommended treatment for several diseases. Though it has its share of complications, the benefits outweigh them. This article will give you insights into bone marrow transplants.
Bone Marrow – What is it?
Bone marrow is a spongy tissue found within the center of bones that produces blood cells. Bone marrow produces three types of blood cells: white cells, red cells, and platelets. Like all other cells in our body, they come with a limited life span. Thus, these are produced continuously within the body.
Source of Stem Cells
Bone marrow transplantations can be classified into two categories – autogenic and allogenic. In the former procedure, the patient’s stem cells are re-infused after a high dosage of chemotherapy, while in the latter, the bone marrow cells are derived from a donor.
When Do You Require a Bone Marrow Transplant?
A bone marrow transplant is required for treating blood cancer and other severe medical conditions. Here, we have classified some conditions under two distinctive categories:
Types of Cancer
The types of cancer which can be treated with bone marrow transplants are:
- Chronic Myeloid and Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
- Acute Myeloid and Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and Primary Myelofibrosis
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Multiple Myeloma, etc.
Some of the non-cancerous conditions which can be treated with bone marrow transplants are:
- Hemoglobinopathies like Sickle Cell Anaemia
- Aplastic Anaemia
- Congenital Errors of Metabolism
- Immuno-Deficiency Disorders
- Congenital Storage Disorders
- Thalassemia, etc.
Stages of Bone Marrow Transplant
Before you undergo a bone marrow transplant, know that this involves a five-stage procedure. The five distinctive stages include:
- Physical examination where the overall health status of the recipient is assessed
- Harvesting or procuring stem cells that will be used in the bone marrow transplant procedure
- Conditioning or preparing the body for bone marrow transplant
- In the next step, the healthy stem cells are transplanted
- The final stage is considered the recovery period
How is the Donor Selected for Bone Marrow Transplant?
To select a donor for a bone marrow transplant, your doctor will perform an HLA typing test. They will look for a similar type of HLA or an extremely close match from the donor.
What are the Complications of Bone Marrow Transplants?
There are several possible complications associated with a bone marrow transplant. Some of them are:
- Acute GvHD (Graft versus Host disease) typically occurs in the first three months after bone marrow transplantation.
- Chronic GVHD develops from acute GvHD and can show significant symptoms for a lifetime.
- Severe infections are promoted by bone marrow suppression or chemotherapy, and the body is incapable of producing cells for combating infections.
Things You Didn’t Know About Bone Marrow Transplant
Here, we have listed a few things that you didn’t probably know about bone marrow transplants:
- A bone marrow transplant is not a surgery but a complicated medical treatment.
- A donor is chosen based on HLA typing, which needs to be a perfect 10/10 match.
- It can potentially cure many blood disorders.
- Patients undergoing bone marrow transplants need to stay in the special transplant ward for at least three weeks.
- Patients can resume living their normal life after 6 to 12 months post-transplant
- Patients are required to visit their doctors regularly for at least three months post-transplant. Your doctor will conduct regular checkups and look for infections.
- Even if there is a half-match transplant, it enables the patient to have a donor.
- A blood group match is not mandatory for a bone marrow transplant.
Remember that bone marrow transplants can be complex, but it gives hope to the patients for recovery. Furthermore, while a bone marrow transplant cost in India is expensive, it offers patients a fighting chance of recovery.
If you need a bone marrow transplant, get in touch with a reputed hospital like BLK Max Hospital. They have skilled and proficient experts in the procedure. They also provide the best aftercare so that you don’t experience severe complications.
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