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Bone marrow transplants have slowly been accepted as a crucial procedure for several chronic diseases and cancer. Despite that, many patients and caregivers are not aware of the procedure and therefore more awareness is required regarding bone marrow transplant. Here are some interesting must-know bone marrow transplant facts in the form of Q&A. 

What is a bone marrow transplant?

Bone marrow is a spongy tissue inside the bones and it produces hematopoietic stem cells. These stem cells form healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. In bone marrow transplant, bone marrow is collected from the patient (autologous procedure) or some other source (allogenic procedure) and post-processing, is reinfused into the body to spike up the repair and rejuvenation of blood cells. Upon bone marrow transplant, damaged cells in the body are replaced by healthy stem cells and their specific differentiated cells.

What’s the difference between stem cell transplants and bone marrow transplants? 

The terms “bone marrow transplant” and “stem cell transplant” might be used interchangeably but the major difference lies in the source.  In bone marrow transplant, stem cells are taken from the bone marrow whereas, in stem cell transplant, it can be taken from other sources too. As for hematopoietic stem cells, they can be derived from umbilical cord blood. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells or adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells can also be used in the case of stem cell transplants.

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Which patients can avail of bone marrow/stem cell transplant?

In the current scenario, Patients diagnosed with blood disorders like leukemia, lymphoma, and certain immune deficiency diseases are good to go for bone marrow transplant with their doctor’s advice. Never pursue such a delicate treatment procedure without consulting a doctor, oncologist, or hematologist.

What is the difference between allogeneic transplants and autologous transplants?

In an autologous transplant, the bone marrow donor is the patient itself but in an allogeneic transplant, the source of bone marrow stem cells is not the patient. In the case of an allogenic transplant, the donor must have HLA compatibility to avoid any immune rejection risk. The type of transplant depends mostly on the disease being treated but other factors like age, underlying health condition, and disease stage also govern the decision.

What are the risks and benefits of bone marrow/stem cell transplants?

In allogeneic transplants, although the donors are healthy, there is always a slight risk of immune rejection in the form of graft vs host disease. To reduce this risk, patients are usually given immune-suppressant drugs but the higher dosage can be a gateway for other infections. In autologous transplants, there is no risk of graft-versus-host disease as the patient’s own cells are used. However, there is always a slight possibility that the patient’s cancer cells may hamper stem cell function.

These bone marrow transplant facts will be useful if you are looking ahead to Stem Cells Therapy procedure. Bone marrow transplants have been a preferred mode of stem cell transplant after chemotherapies and blood disorder treatments. Stem cell transplant is slowly taking up healthcare to new levels in case of various incurable chronic diseases like ALS and Autism. If you are looking for free stem cell therapy consultation from the best medical experts or more bone marrow transplant facts, contact us at info@advancells.com

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