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How Bone Marrow Transplant is Performed?

Bone marrow transplants are a type of treatment that can be used to treat a number of different conditions.

The most common reason for a bone marrow transplant is to treat leukaemia, but they can also be used to treat other blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease or lymphoma.

Bone marrow transplants are usually only recommended when other treatments, such as chemotherapy, have not worked or are not expected to work.

This is because bone marrow transplants are a very intensive treatment with a number of risks and side effects.

However, for some people, a bone marrow transplant may be the best chance of achieving long-term remission or even a cure.

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How Bone Marrow Transplants Performed?

Bone marrow transplants involve taking healthy bone marrow from a donor and transfusing it into the patient.

The healthy bone marrow will then begin to produce healthy blood cells. There are two main types of bone marrow transplants: allogeneic & autologous.

Allogeneic transplants involve taking healthy bone marrow from a donor who is a close match (usually a family member).

The donor’s bone marrow is harvested through a process called apheresis, which involves removing the bone marrow cells from the bloodstream. Once the donor’s cells have been collected, they are transfused into the patient through an intravenous (IV) drip.

Autologous transplants involve taking healthy bone marrow from the patient themselves. The patient will first undergo high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy their diseased bone marrow cells.

Once the cancerous cells have been killed, the patient’s healthy bone marrow cells are collected and then transfused back into the patient.

 

You may also need to know, Is a Bone Marrow Biopsy Painful?

The Risks & Side Effects of Bone Marrow Transplants

Bone marrow transplants are associated with a number of risks and side effects. These can vary depending on the type of transplant (allogeneic or autologous), the patient’s age and health, and the overall condition of the patient before transplantation. 

Some of the more common risks and side effects include :

  • Graft-versus-host Disease (GVHD) :

This is a condition that can occur after an allogeneic transplant, when the donated cells start attacking the patient’s normal cells. GVHD can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild skin rashes to problems with organ function 

  • Infection :

Patients who undergo bone marrow transplants are at an increased risk of developing infections due to their weakened immune system. Infections can range from mild (such as a cold or flu) to life-threatening (such as pneumonia) 

  • Bleeding :

Patients who have undergone autologous transplants may be at risk of developing bleeding problems due to the high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy that they receive before transplantation 

  • Fatigue :

Fatigue is common among patients who have undergone any kind of transplant, as their bodies adjust to the new cells and learn how to function with them correctly.

Takeaway

Overall,bone marrow transplantation is still considered to be an experimental treatment option for leukemia and other blood disorders.

Researchers continue to study ways to improve the safety and effectiveness of this treatment so that more people can benefit from it inthe future.

If you think you might be a candidate for bone marrow transplant, talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options so that you can make the best decision for your individual situation.

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