What Is Bone Marrow Transplants?
What is bone marrow transplant?
Bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure to replace the bone marrow that damaged or destroyed by disease, infection, or chemotherapy with a healthy one, and called blood or marrow transplant.
This procedure involves transplant of stem cells into the blood, which travels to the bone marrow where new blood cells produce and promote the growth of the new bone.
What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is the soft, spongy, fatty tissue within the bone that works to make the blood forming cells (blood stem cells). These cells turn into blood cells and include the following: –
- White blood cells to fight infection.
- Red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
- Platelets, which are responsible for the formation of clots.
Bone marrow transplant replaces damaged stem cells with healthy ones. This helps the body make enough white blood cells, platelets, or red blood cells to avoid infection, bleeding disorders, or anaemia.
Types of bone marrow transplant
Depending on the person’s pathology, and based on analyses conducted, the stem cells used in the bone marrow transplant process classified as follows: -Healthy stem cells can come from a donor(Haploidentical transplant also called(Allogeneic)
Usually from the patient’s relatives and the choice based on a blood test. Where the patient’s doctor searches for a donor that matches the patient’s HLA tissue (human leukocyte antigen), a sign of that the immune system uses to know which cells belong there and which cells do not belong to it. The best chance to find a match is with a brother, or a sister.
Symmetric cell transplantation is necessary if the patient has a condition that has damaged bone marrow cells. However, there is possibility of certain complications, such as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Treatment carried out with drugs to suppress the immune system so that the host body does not attack the new cells.
The other type is Autologous, where a person’s stem cells obtained. Usually, the person’s cells derived before starting harmful treatment of cells, such as chemotherapy or radiation.
After treatment completed, the person’s cells return to the body.
This type of cultivation is not always available. It can use if the bone marrow is healthy. However, it reduces the risk of some severe complications, including the graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
What are the conditions that require treatment with bone marrow transplant?
Bone marrow transplants performed when a person’s marrow is not healthy enough to function correctly, this could be due to chronic infection, diseases, or cancer treatments.
Some of the causes of bone marrow transplant include:
- Cancers are affecting the marrow, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, and multiple myomas.
- Bone marrow damage due to chemotherapy.
- Bone marrow diseases such as aplastic anaemia, a disorder in which the marrow stops making new blood cells.
- Sickle cell anaemia, which is a genetic disorder in the blood that causes, deformed red blood cells.
- Thalassaemia, a genetic disorder in the blood, as the body changes the form of blood haemoglobin.
How a Bone Marrow Transplant Is performed?
Before performing bone marrow transplantation procedures, the patient gets doses of chemotherapy,which may be accompanied by or without radiation therapy. To destroy the diseased cells that make up the blood and marrow.
When the donor is under anaesthesia, the bone marrow collected from the hipbone. After this procedure, the donors rest for one to two hours, and their marrow cells replenished within several weeks.
The healthy cells injected intravenously, and the new cells find their way to the bone marrow, growing and starting to manufacture red and white blood cells and healthy blood platelets.
Complications after the bone marrow transplant
Although the bone marrow transplant process requires a simple medical procedure, complications may follow, including the following:
- A drop in blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of fever
These symptoms may occur briefly, but bone marrow transplantation can cause more severe complications. The severity of these complications depends on several factors, including: –
- Age of the patient.
- General patient health.
- The disease you are treated for it.
- The type of transplant received from the same patient, or from a donor.
Complications can be mild or very serious, and may include–
- Graft – versus – host disease (GVHD) and, it is a condition in which the cells that have been transplanted have an acute immune response against the cells of the body. However, in recent studies, the patient is given several medications to prevent this condition from occurring.
- The body may not respond to newly cultured cells and not start producing new cells as planned.
- Bleeding may occur in the lungs, brain, and other parts of the body.
- Darkening of the lens of the eye may occur.
- The possibility of an early menopause.
- Anaemia, which occurs when the body does not produce enough red blood cells.
- Inflammation of the mucosa, which is inflammation and pain in the mouth, throat and stomach.
For this, it is advised to speak to the specialist doctor about any concerns. This may help to assess risks and complications against the potential benefits of this procedure.