A Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) also referred to as a Stem Cell Transplant is a medical surgery carried out in order to replace the bone marrow in the body that has been damaged or indefinitely impaired due to factors like disease, infection or even chemotherapy. Thus, the patient's faulty bone marrow stem cells are replaced.
Bone marrow is a spongy tissue present inside some of your bones, especially the hips and the thigh area. The immature cells present within this tissue are called stem cells. The bone marrow contains
• Red blood cells (RBC's) which carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body
• White blood cells (WBC's), which fight infection and provide immunity
• Platelets, which are helpful in the formation of clots, preventing excessive bleeding.
During Chemotherapy, the radiations kill the bone marrow cells too while killing the cancer cells. One of these damaged bone marrow cells are replaced by the Bone Marrow Transplant, the doctors can give aggressive doses of radiation to the cancer patients since now new stem cells have been transplanted into the body.
Bone marrow transplants are performed when a person’s marrow no longer remains healthy and sound enough to carry out its usual functions. Doctors may carry out the Bone Marrow Transplant on patients who suffer from
• Cancers Affecting the Marrow area, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma
• Blood diseases such as thalassemias, aplastic anaemia, and sickle cell anaemia
• Solid Tumors
• Certain immune deficiency diseases
• Congenital neutropenia, which is an inherited disorder that causes recurring infection
There are two major types of a bone marrow transplant. Each type would depend on the situation of the patient's need for the transplant.
• Allogeneic Transplant: The patient receives bone marrow or stem cells from a donor who may or not is a family member.
• Autologous Transplant: The patient receives a bone marrow transplant of his/her own stem cells that were collected and stored before the application of the chemotherapy/radiation treatment.
In order to be a patient's bone marrow transplant donor, the donor must match their patient's tissue type, specifically their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type.
HLAs are proteins that are found in most cells of your body. Your immune system uses these proteins or markers to identify the cells that belong in your body and which do not. The closer the match between the patient's HLA markers and bone marrow transplant donor's, the better the chances of being a good donor for the bone marrow transplant.
NOTE: Donors never pay for donating, and are never paid to donate. According to Indian law, an only close relative can be the donor. For more information click here.
The Bone Marrow Transplant is very delicate surgery. The surgery on a whole may provide your body strength by fusing new stem cells that contain RBC's, WBC's and Platelets that are vital for body's immunity. However, there's a small list of mild complications that follow.
a drop in blood pressure
• A headache
• Body Pain
• Mild Infection
• Diarrhoea, or vomiting
The success rate of your Bone Marrow Transplant is highly subject to your Bone Marrow Transplant Donor. It is quite an ordeal to arrange for a good Bone Marrow Transplant Donor who is totally unrelated to you.
Post your Bone Marrow Transplant, the engraftment is monitored regularly and takes between 10-30 days to get complete.
Bone Marrow Transplant Recovery depends upon a number of factors such as
• Initial Bone Marrow Condition
• Chemotherapy and Radiations
• Donor Match
• Where the Transplant is performed
India has numerous options for Bone Marrow Transplant Surgery where the Hospital standards and facilities are premium and at par with any other global medical and health institutes. Here are some of the many hospitals which serve top-notch Bone Marrow Transplant surgeries. They are not only cost-effective but also have some of the best doctors dealing in transplant surgeries on board. BLK Super Speciality Hospital is the biggest Bone marrow transplant centre in Asia.