Bone marrow transplant also known as hematopoietic stem cell transplant is a procedure that involves the substitution of unhealthy or damaged bone marrow cells with healthy stem cells. Stem cells can be obtained from a donor (allogeneic) or collected from the patient’s own body (autologous). It can be used for the treatment of certain diseases such as blood cancers, immune system problems, and other ailments which can be aided by the transplanted stem cells' capacity to repopulate the bone marrow and restore its capacity to produce healthy blood cells.
Bone Marrow and Its Functions
Bone marrow is a soft and spongy tissue present mainly in the center of the bones and stores fat and stem cells. It is the primary site for the production of blood cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The stored fat can also be converted into energy when required.
As bone marrow produces blood cells, an essential component for the survival of the body, damage to bone marrow can be life-threatening. Certain diseases, genetic abnormalities, and cancer treatments can lead to the destruction of the bone marrow. Bone marrow transplant is the primary treatment for damaged bone marrow. Bone marrow transplant cost in India is much more reasonable as compared to other countries worldwide
What Is Bone Marrow Transplant?
A bone marrow transplant is also called a stem cell transplant. The procedure involves the infusion of healthy blood-forming stem cells into the body to replace damaged bone marrow. The process can be used for treating different kinds of diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myelodysplastic disorders. A healthy bone marrow will be harvested from a donor, filtered, processed, and infused into the recipient’s body
Why Is It Necessary To Perform Bone Marrow Transplant?
The main purpose of the bone marrow transplant procedure is:
- To restore the blood cells that are harmed or damaged due to radiation therapy or chemotherapy administered to eradicate the cancer cells. The transplant will be performed after cancer treatment to replace the damaged blood cells.
- To produce new cells with the ability that directly target and destroy the cancer cells.
- To restore the decreased blood cell count that occurs due to certain health conditions such as cancer, anemia, immune disorders, etc.
Types of Bone Marrow Transplant
There are two main types of bone marrow transplants, autologous and allogeneic, depending on from whom the healthy bone marrow is collected.
- Autologous bone marrow transplant - The bone marrow is obtained from the patient’s body.
- Allogeneic bone marrow transplant - Another person called a donor donates the healthy bone marrow to the patient.
- Syngeneic bone marrow transplant - Bone marrow is obtained from an identical twin of the patient.
- Umbilical cord blood transplant - Bone marrow is obtained from the umbilical cord blood of a newborn baby.
Bone Marrow Transplant Procedure
The procedure of bone marrow transplant mainly involves three steps which are shortly described below:
- Collection of healthy stem cells: Stem cells can be collected from peripheral blood, bone marrow, and cord blood. After collecting the stem cells they will be purified from fats and blood cells, and make it readily available for infusion into the patient.
- Conditioning: A dose of chemotherapy or radiation will be administered to the patient to kill the cancer cells or to lower the immune system to prevent probable rejection of the transplanted stem cells.
- Stem cell transplant: The transplant is mainly done through a central venous catheter which is installed into the patient's chest. The stem cells will be directly infused into the patient's heart, from which they will be distributed evenly into the body through the bloodstream.
Conditions Which Can Be Treated With Bone Marrow Transplant
Certain health conditions that are commonly treated with bone marrow transplants are:
- Severe aplastic anemia.
- Acute renal failure.
- Fanconi anemia.
- Immune deficiency disorders.
Complications Of Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow transplant procedure is associated with certain risks. Complications can occur differently based on the type of the procedure, the patient's overall health condition and the underlying reason for the treatment. Common complications include:
- Low platelet and red blood cell count.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Lung and bone damage.
- Early menopause in women.
- Fluid overload.
- Thyroid problems.
- Secondary cancers.
Another familiar complication of bone marrow transplant is graft versus host disease (GVHD), a condition where the recipient’s immune system attacks the transplanted healthy stem cells. However, this happens only with allogeneic bone marrow transplants.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India
Bone marrow transplant cost in India is more budget-friendly as compared with well-developed Western countries even after accounting for all the necessary diagnoses and extra tests for the patient. With that, the different types of bone marrow transplant procedures have different costs for each of the treatments. And the actual amount of the treatment cost will depend on the type of bone marrow transplant you require.
Factors Affecting Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India
Common factors that contribute to the price of bone marrow transplant cost in India are:
- Pre-transplant tests and evaluation.
- Hospital fees.
- Types of surgery.
- Cost of transplantation surgery.
- Post-operational care.
- Insurance coverage and government subsidies for bone marrow transplants in India.
- Geographical location.
- Requirements of additional care.
In the event that you or a loved one is experiencing any blood cancer, you might consider looking into this possibility as the expense of a bone marrow transplant cost in India is comparatively lower than in other parts of the world. Along with the best-quality professional services, the nation also provides an affordable treatment plan. Additionally, the country is home to some of the most advanced, contemporary hospitals and treatment facilities.
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