Bone marrow is responsible for producing blood cells in our bodies, with hematopoietic stem cells being the subset of bone marrow cells that can renew themselves and develop into any type of blood cell. Nowadays, these stem cells can also be obtained from peripheral blood or umbilical cord. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, also known as bone marrow transplantation, involves injecting these stem cells into a recipient after a short course of chemotherapy called conditioning. This procedure is commonly used to treat conditions such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma, severe blood diseases, and certain immune deficiency diseases.
In autologous transplant, the patient's own bone marrow stem cells are collected before undergoing high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells or diseased bone marrow. After the treatment, the stem cells are returned to the patient to regenerate new healthy bone marrow. This type of transplant avoids the risk of rejection since the patient's own cells are used, but it is not suitable for all types of diseases.
Some of the conditions for which bone marrow transplant is recommended. Additionally, bone marrow transplant may also be considered for other conditions such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), and certain genetic disorders like Hurler syndrome and Adrenoleukodystrophy. The decision to undergo a bone marrow transplant is made after careful evaluation by a team of medical professionals, and depends on factors such as the specific condition, the patient's age and overall health, and the availability of a suitable donor.
While age and donor type can affect the success of the transplant, there are other factors that can also impact the risks and complications of bone marrow transplant, such as the patient's overall health and medical history, the specific condition being treated, the type of transplant (allogeneic or autologous), the intensity of the conditioning regimen, and the use of prophylactic medications to prevent infections and other complications.
It's important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of bone marrow transplant with your healthcare team, including your doctor, transplant coordinator, and other specialists involved in your care. They can help you understand the specific risks and complications associated with your particular situation and provide you with the information and support you need to make an informed decision about your treatment options.
Bone marrow fluid (aspirate) and tissue samples (biopsies) are commonly taken from the posterior iliac crest, the upper ridge of the back of a hipbone. The front of the hip may also be used for this purpose.
Bone Marrow Transplant is a medical procedure that involves collecting stem cells via peripheral vein, similar to donating blood or platelets. In some cases, bone marrow harvest may be necessary, which requires general anesthesia for the donor.
No, there is no risk to the donor. Donors are usually able to resume their duties the next day after collection of the stem cells.