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The Technique of Bone Marrow Transplantation

The bone marrow is the hollow region inside our bone. It consists of collection of cells (tissues) which produce new blood cells. When cancer affects the healthy cells in the bone marrow, techniques like chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used. They kill the harmful cancer cells using chemicals or highly energetic beams. After this, doctors perform Bone marrow transplant on cancer patient. This article tries to gain further insight on this technique.

This technique is applied on cancer patients and on people whose bone marrow do not perform its functions well. In this technique, healthy stem cells are injected in to the patient’s body. The stem cells are general types of cell. They have the potential to perform functions as per the requirement of the part of an organ they are injected in to. While receiving this technique, a patient may suffer from symptoms like Chills, Fever, Nausea, Headache, Chest pain, Drop in blood pressure and Shortness of breath.

Types of Bone Marrow Transplant: There are three types of this technique. They are:

Autologous bone marrow transplant: Here the Stem cells are collected from the patient’s body before the applying radiation therapy or chemotherapy. They are injected back in to the patient’s body after the cancer cells get killed. This technique is also known as Rescue transplant.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplant: Here the Stem cells are taken from the bone marrow or blood of a donor. Prior to this technique, special blood tests confirm whether the donor’s blood is suitable for transplantation or not. In most of the cases, siblings of the patient are best donors.

Umbilical cord blood transplant: In this technique, Stem cells of a new born baby are collected. They are stored by freezing them until they are required for a transplantation.

Risks Associated with Bone Marrow Transplant: The factors which increase or decrease the risks associated with Bone Marrow Transplant are:

  • Diseases the patient already has
  • Type of treatments already received
  • Age of the patient
  • Health Status
  • Match of the Donor’s blood
  • Type of the transplant to be applied

After the technique is applied, the patient may get infections, bleeding, pain, vomiting and Diarrhea. There can be damage to vital organs like heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. There are chances of the injected stem cells failing in their job of producing new cells. The donor’s stem cells can also attack our body in some cases to prove counter productive.

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