Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant

A bone marrow transplant, known as stem transplant is done in treatment of certain types of cancer such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma and certain blood diseases as well. It is basically done using a high dose of chemotherapy. Bone marrow transplant is known as hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Hematopoietic cells are called so as they have the capacity to turn into some other type of cells like bone marrow cells or any other type of blood cells.

Types of bone transplant and its effect

There are two types of hematopoietic cell transplantation – autologous and allogenic.  Autologous HCT allows a delivery of myeloablative high-dose chemoradiotherapy, since the infused hematopoietic progenitor cells provide hematopoiesis and immune reconstitution. In allogenic transplant type, the stem cells required for the transplant are taken from another donor, outside the regime. These allo transplants can be broadly classified into ablative and reduced intensity depending upon the dose of chemotherapy to be given, the type of transplant to be given to the diseased is directly dependent on the disease the patient is having. For example, if a person is having cancer, or any other bone marrow disease, in such cases, allo treatment will not be recommended.

How to diagnose the need of Bone marrow transplant?

Oncology is the branch of medicine that deals with diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. This branch is further divided into medical oncology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, Palliative medicine. Hematopoietic stem cells are found in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow. In this type of transplant, there is an intravenous infusion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to design to establish marrow and immune function in patients with a variety of acquired and inherited malignant and non-malignant disorders.

The main steps included in the bone marrow transplant surgery include collection of stem cells. Firstly the patient is injected with medications to increase the stem cells in human body and these cells are collected through veins using standard IV’s or a catheter. This catheter is also used to give chemotherapy. High doses of chemotherapy are given to the patient for five to ten days. The duration of the transplant may vary but general course varies from three to five weeks. It is not mandatory for the patient to be admitted in hospital. Patient may come to the clinic on regular basis to get the treatment completed. After this course, the stem cells are inserted back in the blood of the patient and the time required for each infusion is thirty minutes. This is a general trend followed in auto therapy and after receiving the treatment completely; the patients are given a course of antibiotics and other drugs to deal with the repercussions or complications if any.

How can one get help with Bone Marrow transplant?

The transplant is done with the help of a donor. After finding a suitable donor for the transplant, the chemotherapy is started with or without radiation. There are certain other options also available in case a suitable donor is not found. Certain researches are being carried out to determine what other transplant can be done for such cases out of umbilical cord blood transplant or parent-child haplotype mismatched transplant.

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