Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow is the spongy, fatty tissue that is found in the centre of your bones. Bone marrow contains hematopoietic stem cells which are commonly known as HSCs. These HSCs are unspecialized cells that have the ability to either divide and differentiate to form different types of blood cells, else they can remain stem cells. The function of Bone marrow in the body is to produce platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells.
In certain cases, bone marrow’s function can be impaired due to diseases such as leukemia, aplastic anaemia, and lymphoma. In such cases, a bone marrow transplant is done to replace the damaged or diseased marrow and restore function.
What is Bone Marrow Transplant?
A bone marrow transplant procedure is a process through which blood stem cells are transplanted in the bone marrow so that these healthy stem cells replace the cells that have been either damaged or destroyed in the bone marrow.
When the healthy blood stem cells are transplanted, these cells go to the bone marrow and start to help a new bone marrow grow so that cell production can start again. That is, red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells are produced again so that your body can defend itself from infections and problems like anemia.
The stem cells can come from your body or they can come from a donor. The bone marrow transplantation procedure is also called as Stem cell transplant. The rapid innovation in medical science over the past few years have led to an increase in the bone marrow transplant success rate and an increase in the survival rates for different types of blood cancers.
Here are some of the most common problems that cause the need for a bone marrow transplant. If you suffer from any of these diseases, you need to consult with a bone marrow transplant specialist to understand your suitability for bone marrow transplantation.
- Immune deficiencies
- Congenital neutropenia: An inherited disorder that causes recurring infections
- POEMS syndrome: A rare blood disorder that damages the nerves and may affect many other parts of the body.
- Aplastic anemia: A disorder in which the marrow stops making new blood cells
- Neuroblastoma: Form of cancer caused due to immature nerve cells found in the body
- Sickle cell anemia: An inherited blood disorder that causes misshapen red blood cells
- Plasma cell disorder: A spectrum of progressively more severe monoclonal gammopathies in which a clone or multiple clones of premalignant or malignant plasma cells over-produce and secrete myeloma protein into the blood stream.
- Thalassemia: an inherited blood disorder where the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, an integral part of red blood cells.
- Inborn errors of metabolism
- Bone marrow cancers such as leukemia, myeloma, or lymphoma
The following measures may aid in preventing the complications and speed up the recovery process:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (except grapefruit)
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise regularly