Bone marrow transplant is a procedure done for replacing a diseased or unhealthy bone marrow with a normal or healthy bone marrow. These stem cells segregate and create newer stem cells. These cells multiply speedily to produce millions of blood cells daily.
Bone marrow transplant procedure is required in the following instances:
Some of the diseases in which the bone marrow transplant is beneficial are:
There are three main types of bone marrow transplant.
The term allo in Allogeneic means other. In allogeneic transplant, the stem cells are removed from other people, these are called donors. Usually, these donor's genes need to match atleast partially.
A bone marrow transplant procedure mainly involves 5 stages, which are as follows:
Prior to the procedure, various evaluations and tests are conducted for assuring the health and fitness and eliminating bone marrow transplant donor risks. This evaluations help in determining if the bone marrow transplant is safe and helpful for the patient. Also bone marrow transplant risks are evaluated.
The collection of the stem cells for the transplant usually depends on where the stem cells are taken. The stem cells are usually sourced from the bone marrow, peripheral blood or the blood from the umbilical cord. This is often conducted in an operation theatre setting.
In conditioning, a high dose of chemotherapy/radiotherapy is given for destructing the existing diseased bone marrow for preparing the donor stem cells to initiate their function.
After the conditioning is done, the patients are rested for a couple of days for allowing the chemo and other drugs to go out of the body. In the transplantation process, the healthy stem cells taken during harvesting are implanted into the body by a central line for regenerating or repairing the tissue.
After the completion of the transplant process, hospitalization is required for a few weeks for allowing the stem cells to be accepted and settled in the bone marrow and for initiating the new blood cells production. The patient is monitored regularly for the vitals and blood counts.
When the patient is being discharged following things are assessed and ensured:
The transplanted bone marrow is producing sufficient and healthy blood cells
The absence of serious complications
Some of the Bone marrow transplant risks include:
In some instances, the recipient's cells are not accepted by the body as a normal reflex fight them back. This condition is called Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD). This might be beneficial in a few cases, when these cells also happen to attack the cancerous cells left even after the chemotherapy.
Some symptoms seen in GVHD are: