Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue inside your bones that makes blood-forming cells (blood stem cells). These cells turn into blood cells.

  • White blood cells to fight infections.
  • Red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
  • Platelets to control bleeding.

Blood-forming cells are also found in the blood stream and the umbilical cord blood.

A bone marrow transplant is a treatment that replaces unhealthy marrow with a healthy one. It’s also called a blood or marrow transplant (BMT). Healthy stem cells can come from a donor, or they can come from your own body.

What diseases can BMT treat?

  • Blood cancers like leukaemia or lymphoma & multiple myeloma
  • Bone marrow diseases like aplastic anaemia
  • Other immune system or genetic diseases like sickle cell disease, thalassemia
  • Chronic infections
  • Damaged bone marrow due to chemotherapy
  • Congenital neutropenia, which is an inherited disorder that causes recurring infections

Types of BMT

  1. Autologous Transplant – uses your own blood-forming cells
  2. Allogeneic Transplant – uses blood-forming cells donated by someone else
  3. Haploidentical Transplant – a type of allogeneic transplant

How does transplant work?

Before transplant, you get chemotherapy (chemo) with or without radiation to destroy the diseased blood-forming cells and marrow. Then, healthy cells are given to you (it’s not surgery). The new cells go into your bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) line, or tube just like getting blood or medicine through an IV. The cells find their way into your marrow, where they grow and start to make healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Bone Marrow Transplant team

May include haematologists, cancer specialists (oncologists), mental health specialists (psychologists and psychiatrists), a bone marrow transplant scheduling coordinator, transfusion medicine nurses, trained and specialised nurses, physician assistants, social workers, a nurse coordinator, a clinical nurse specialist, a dietitian, pharmacists, a chaplain and a child life specialist for children undergoing bone marrow transplant.

How a Bone Marrow Transplant is Performed?

When your doctor thinks you’re ready, you’ll have the transplant. The procedure is similar to a blood transfusion. If you’re having an allogeneic transplant, bone marrow cells will be harvested from your donor a day or two before your procedure. If your own cells are being used, they’ll be retrieved from the stem cell bank.

Cells are collected in two ways: During a bone marrow harvest, cells are collected from both hipbones through a needle. You’re under anaesthesia for this procedure, meaning you’ll be asleep and free of any pain.

  • Your bone marrow transplant occurs after you complete the conditioning process. On the day of your transplant, called day zero, stem cells are infused into your body through your central line.
  • When the new stem cells enter your body, they begin to travel through your body and to your bone marrow. In time, they multiply and begin to make new, healthy blood cells. This is called engraftment. It usually takes several weeks before the number of blood cells in your body starts to return to normal. In some people, it may take longer.
  • The transplant infusion is painless. You are awake during the procedure.
  • In the days and weeks after your bone marrow transplant, you’ll have blood tests and other tests to monitor your condition. You may need medicine to manage complications, such as nausea and diarrhea.
  • The transplanted stem cells make their way to your bone marrow, where they begin creating new blood cells. It can take a few weeks for new blood cells to be produced and for your blood counts to begin recovering.
  • After your Bone Marrow Transplant, you’ll remain under close medical care. If you’re experiencing infections or other complications, you may need to stay in the hospital for several days or sometimes longer. Depending on the type of transplant and the risk of complications, you’ll need to remain near the hospital for several weeks to months to allow close monitoring.
  • Bone marrow or blood stem cells that have been frozen and thawed contain a preservative that protects the cells. Just before the transplant, you may receive medications to reduce the side effects the preservative may cause. You’ll also likely be given IV fluids (hydration) before and after your transplant to help rid your body of the preservative.
  •  You may also need periodic transfusions of red blood cells and platelets until your bone marrow begins producing enough of those cells on its own. You may be at greater risk of infections or other complications for months to years after your transplant

Complications associated with a Bone Marrow Transplant

Your chances of developing these complications depend on several factors like your age, your overall health, the disease you’re being treated for and the type of transplant you’ve received.

Complications can be mild or very serious, and they can include:

  • Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which is a condition in which donor cells attack your body
  • Graft failure, which occurs when transplanted cells don’t begin producing new cells as planned
  • Bleeding in the lungs, brain, and other parts of the body
  • Cataracts, which is characterized by clouding in the lens of the eye
  • Damage to vital organs
  • Early menopause
  • Anaemia, which occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells
  • Infections
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Mucositis, which is a condition that causes inflammation and soreness in the mouth, throat, and

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. They can help you weigh the risks and complications against the potential benefits of this procedure.

Why India?

India is becoming the most preferred healthcare destination globally.

The superlative medical treatment provided by the skilled doctors in world-class infrastructure at nearly one third  the cost compared to  Western Europe, North America and some Southeast Asian countries  adds up  to India’s credentials.

India is a trusted name in BMT for international patients, as the hospitals here have not just a highly qualified BMT team, but also very stringent infection control norms which are critical for BMT patients.

Bone Marrow Transplant  in India is performed through cutting- edge clinical solutions, research, extraordinary patient care and infrastructure of world-class standards. Bone Marrow Transplant is a complex non surgical exercise and needs highly skilled consultants, ingenious technical staff and advanced technology working with perfect harmony, enormous dedication and team work. India offers a one stop solution for all those seeking critical procedures such as Bone Marrow Transplant.