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6 Important Things You Need to Know About Bone Marrow Transplant

Posted on 08/21/2020 by Finding Doc


A bone marrow transplant is a procedure which is used to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Bone marrows produce blood cells and are the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are present inside the bone marrow that are known as immature cells and which give rise to all different blood cells.

We will discuss here the top 6 things which you should know about Bone Marrow Transplant. For Bone Marrow Transplant, visit the best Abdominal Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgeon, Dr. Aditya Nanavati.

1. What is a bone marrow/stem cell transplant?

Bone marrow is a soft, spongy tissue that is present inside the bones and produces hematopoietic stem cells. Stem cells are special cells that develop into healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets and make copies of them. They are found in a different part of the body at different times in different forms. A bone marrow or stem cell transplant is a medical treatment that replaces stem cells that are cancerous, faulty or destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation. For bone marrow transplant in Delhi, consult a Hematology& Bone Marrow Transplant specialist.

2. State the difference between a bone marrow transplant and a stem cell transplant

People use “stem cell” and “bone marrow” interchangeably. This confusion has arisen because the bone marrow is the source of hematopoietic stem cells, and healthy stem cells are what patients need. But the difference lies in the donation procedures. The donor’s bone marrow is harvested directly from the hip bones through a large needle, while the patient is under general anaesthesia.

Also, in a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, or PBST, a process called apheresis is used for stem cells harvesting. To increase stem cell production, donors receive medication for five days. The process harvests stem cells from the bloodstream and is similar to a blood donation.

Another method used in bone marrow transplant in Gurgaon, is where hematopoietic stem cells from umbilical cord blood is used for stem cell transplant.

3. Candidate requiring bone marrow/stem cell transplant

People who are diagnosed with leukemia, myelodysplasia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, severe blood diseases and certain immune deficiency diseases may benefit from a transplant. For bone marrow transplant in Noida, a primary care doctor and hematologist (blood specialist) or an oncologist (cancer specialist) will recommend the best treatment options.

4. Difference between allogeneic and autologous transplants

An allogeneic transplant (“allo” means “other”) needs stem cells from a donor. The patient HLA tissue type should match with the donor. There are good chances that the patient’s biological sibling will be a match.

In an autologous transplant (“auto” means “self”), a patient is the donor himself/herself. Like a donor, own stem cells are collected from the blood and frozen.

In both types of transplants, to destroy cancer, the patient typically receives high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. Ultimately, in bone marrow transplant, either the donor’s or the patient’s own stem cells are thawed and given to the patient, where over time; they will grow and produce healthy blood cells.

5. Risks and benefits of bone marrow/stem cell transplants

In allogeneic transplants, healthy donors stem cells are cancer-free and can fight any remaining cancer cells. However, there’s always a risk that the donor’s immune cells might attack the patient’s healthy cells (“graft-versus-host disease”). To reduce the risk, patients are given drugs to suppress their immune system, but a weakened immune system can cause severe infection.

In autologous transplants, there is no risk of graft-versus-host disease because the patient’s own stem cells are used. Hence, a lower risk of infection.

6. Outlook after a bone marrow/stem cell transplant

After a bone marrow transplant from one of the best Abdominal Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgeons, Dr. Aditya Nanavati, patients are carefully monitored for complications. They may be required to stay in the hospital for several weeks and once released, they will face a long recovery process and require frequent follow-up care. Thus, it’s vital that you carefully follow the doctors’ instructions to ensure the best outcome.