Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow is a soft and spongy tissue that is present inside the hollow or cancellous parts of the bone. The main role of bone marrow is to produce blood cells. It constitutes around 4 percent of the total body mass and produces approximately 500 billion blood cells per day.
Bone marrow transplant is the process of transplanting multipotent hematopoietic stem cells to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. This procedure is preferred for patients who are suffering from cancer of bone marrow or blood.
Before going ahead with transplant procedure, common drugs are provided to see if bone marrow disorders are contained or not. If there is immune mechanism, an immunosuppressive agent is preferred. To stimulate hematopoiesis, androgens and hematopoietic growth factors are tried. If you want to go ahead with a non-masculinizing androgen then the best option is Danazol. Lymphocyte immune globulin is used to eliminate any immune- mediated marrow suppression. Methylprednisolone is a drug that decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing increased capillary permeability.
There are different types of bone marrow transplants with the help of which you can get back to normal. They are –
1. Autologous transplant – An autologous transplant is a type of transplant in which stem cells from the patient’s own body are used. Stem cells are removed from your body before you receive high dose of chemotherapy or radiation. After radiotherapy and chemotherapy, your stem cells are kept back in your body.
2. Allogeneic transplant – The word allo means other. In this type of transplant, stem cells from the donor’s body are used. Tests are done prior to this surgery to see if the donor is a good match for you. A brother or a sister is generally a good match.
3. Haploidentical transplant – It is a form of an allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell (HPC) transplant in which instead of fully (human leukocyte antigen) HLA matched donor, a half HLA matched parent or sibling is the donor for bone marrow. The closer the HLA match between the donor and recipient, greater the chance a transplant will be successful.
4. Matched unrelated donor (MUD) transplant – As the name suggests, in this type of transplant, the donor is in the form of an unrelated human who is not a blood relative but who has a complete human leukocyte antigens match to the patient. It is a viable alternative for approximately 75 percent of the patients who will not have an HLA identical sibling.
It is given under general anesthesia which means that there is no pain suffered.
Doctors look for donors to match the patient’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type. The closer the match, the better for the patient.
The predicted rate of survival is 62 percent.
The patient will be asked to lie down on a couch and transfusion will be put into the vein. Blood collected will be transported to the centrifuge which spins it to separate out the stem cells.