A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure performed to replace unhealthy bone marrow stem cells with the healthy ones. This transplant is carried out to treat people with conditions like leukaemia, multiple myeloma, severe blood diseases such as aplastic anaemia, thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia and certain immune deficiency diseases. Typically, the stem cells are collected via a peripheral vein. The whole bone marrow transplant procedure is like donating blood or platelets. The stem cells from the bone marrow are in charge for producing blood cells like platelets (thrombocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes) and red blood cells (erythrocytes), which later are injected in a recipient after a short course of chemotherapy.
The bone marrow transplant procedure is performed to treat several conditions (cancerous and non-cancerous) and is extremely safe for the donor. Furthermore, the patient can go back to healthy life within 6 to 12 months post successful bone marrow transplant. Max Hospitals are designed with High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA filter) for protective isolation so that risk of infections is minimised.
The success of a bone marrow transplant typically depends on the stage and duration of disease and the patient's condition at the time of bone marrow transplant. With modern day medicines and technological advancements, one can expect a cure rate of 90% if BMT is performed at the age of 3 years for thalassemia while it drops to 80% if done at the age of 7 years. On the other hand cure rates are lower( 30% or less) for refactory leukemias.
Types of Bone Marrow Transplant
Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant – In this type of bone marrow transplant the stem cells are harvested from either the bloodstream, bone marrow or sometimes in combination. In autologous bone marrow transplant, the patient is their own stem cell donor. Before the patient receives high doses of radiation and chemotherapy, the stem cells are removed and stored. After chemotherapy, stem cells are infused back into the patient through intravenous (IV) rate.
Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant – In this type of bone marrow transplant procedure, stem cells are donated from a genetically matched stem cell donor. Usually, a sibling or close family member with the same tissue type as the patient, becomes a donor. Where there is no close family member or sibling, a search is made to find a suitably matched unrelated stem cell donor. In allogeneic bone marrow transplant, the unhealthy cells are replaced by the donor’s healthy stem cells. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are also implied to treat the underlying disease.
Indications of Bone Marrow Transplant:
BMT is used in treatment of many types of blood disorders. It includes cancerous conditions like
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia
- Multiple Myeloma
Many non- cancerous conditions also require BMT for cure like-
- Aplastic Anemia
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Paediatric Cancerous like neuroblastomas
- Peadiatric Immunodeficiencies