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Bone marrow transplant

Bone marrow transplant

Bone marrow transplant


Blood present in the body can get affected due to several reasons like infections, disorders or chemotherapy. It leads to the requirement of replacement of the components of the blood like blood stem cells. Blood stem cells move to the bone marrow and create new blood cells. These new cells lead to the production of the new bone marrow. It is called as the bone marrow transplant.


The healthy bone marrow usually comes from the donor individual. Stem cells are harvested and grown for the successful radiation treatment or chemotherapy procedures. The healthy stem cells thus formed are utilized for the bone marrow transplant.


When does one require to undergo bone marrow transplant?

Here are some of the cases in which the bone marrow transplant procedures are recommended to the patients.


  • Cancers like leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma.
  • Thalassemia where the abnormal form of hemoglobin is present in the body.
  • Aplastic anemia in which the bone marrow stops producing new blood cells
  • Bone marrow in a damaged state because of cancer therapies
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Congenital neutropenia in which recurrent infections occur


Types of bone marrow transplants:


Bone marrow transplants are mainly of two types namely, autologous and allogeneic transplants.


 Autologous transplants: In this type of bone marrow transplants, the bone marrow of the patient itself is used for the procedure. The bone marrow of the patient is collected before the commencement of the procedures like chemotherapy which usually affect the bone marrow. After the completion of the procedure, the bone marrow is transplanted into the patient. This type is only utilized when the bone marrow of the patient is in a healthy state before the treatment procedure is started.


 Allogeneic transplants: These type of transplants comprise of transplanting the donor bone marrow into the patient’s body. It is recommended that the donor is a close relative or someone with whom the patient has genetic matching. It helps in preventing rejection of the bone marrow in the body. The patient is also set up on a regular medication regime to avoid any negative reaction in the body.


How to prepare for a bone marrow transplant?


 Every medical procedure is unique. Therefore, before the procedure is started, the patient needs to take proper care and prepare himself well for the treatment. You need to clarify with your doctor regarding the tests required to be done for the bone marrow transplant.


Some of the crucial tests which are recommended are:


  • Tissue typing and blood tests
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Computed Tomography Scan
  • Electrocardiogram and echocardiogram
  • Skeletal survey
  • Bone marrow biopsy


The total period for the completion of the procedure is around one week on average. Therefore, you need to make sure that you plan your office leaves, insurance coverages, bill payments as well as traveling and staying arrangements well in advance. This will help you to stay relaxed during the treatment as well as at the time of the resting phase. You can also ask one of your family members to stay with you during the procedure. This helps the patient to have some support during the lengthy duration procedure of bone marrow transplant.


What is the procedure of the bone marrow transplant?


 Bone marrow transplant involves certain steps which need to be followed for the successful accomplishment of the purpose of the procedure.


-First of all, the bone marrow stem cells are collected. The source of these cells is preferably a donor individual. Note that umbilical cord blood is also a useful source for receiving bone marrow for the transplant procedure.


-Then, the present or damaged bone marrow transplant is destroyed. It ensures that the patient can now receive the healthy bone marrow.


-Then, finally, the blood stem cells are infused with the help of blood transfusion. Initially, for next two to three weeks, there will be no production of the new stem cells. After next few months, new bone marrow produces the components of blood successfully.


 In this way, the bone marrow transplant procedure is completed.


 Thus, if a patient has some disorder affecting the blood or has undergone chemotherapy, then it is highly recommended that the patient undergoes bone marrow transplant well over time. This will prevent progression of the disorder and save the life of the patient.


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