Bone Marrow transplant procedure is performed to replace bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by illness, infection, or chemotherapy.
This process involves transplanting blood stem cells, that travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote the growth of new marrow.
Bone marrow is the spongy, fatty tissue inside your bones. It creates the subsequent parts of the blood:
- White blood cells, that fight infection
- Platelets, that are responsible for the formation of clots
- Red blood cells, that carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body
Bone Marrow transplant procedure would replace your damaged stem cells with healthy cells. This helps your body create enough white blood cells, platelets, or red blood cells to avoid infections, bleeding disorders, or anaemia.
Why is Bone Marrow transplant procedure needed?
The goal of the transplant is to cure several diseases and types of cancer. Once the doses of chemotherapy or radiation required to cure a cancer are so high that an individual’s bone marrow stem cells will be permanently damaged or destroyed by the treatment, a bone marrow transplant may be required.
The transplant can be used to:
- Replace diseased, with a healthy functioning bone marrow.
- Regenerate a new immune system which will fight existing or residual leukaemia or other cancers.
- Replace the bone marrow to restore its normal function to treat a malignancy. This method is usually known as rescue.
- Replace bone marrow with genetically healthy functioning bone marrow to stop more damage from an inherited disease process.
What are the different kinds of bone marrow transplants?
There are different types of bone marrow transplants looking at who the donor is. The different types of the transplant include the following:
- Autologous bone marrow transplant. Stem cells are taken from the patient either by bone marrow harvest and then given back to the patient after intensive treatment. Typically the term rescue is used rather than the transplant.
- Umbilical cord blood transplant. Stem cells are taken from an umbilical cord directly after delivery of a baby.
- Allogeneic bone marrow transplant. The donor shares a similar genetic type with the patient. Other donors may include:
- A parent. The donor is a parent and can be called a haploid-identical match. These transplants are rare.
- Unrelated bone marrow transplants. The genetically matched marrow or stem cells are from an unrelated donor.
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