Getting a Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplant

Introduction

A bone marrow transplant may be a medical treatment that replaces your bone marrow with healthy cells. The replacement cells can either come from your own body or from a donor. A bone marrow transplant is additionally called a somatic cell transplant or, more specifically, a hematopoietic somatic cell transplant. Transplantation is often wont to treat certain sorts of cancer, like leukaemia, myeloma, and lymphoma, and other blood and system diseases that affect the bone marrow.

Stem cells are special cells that can make copies of themselves and change into the many different kinds of cells that your body needs. Cancer and cancer treatment can damage your hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells are stem cells that become blood cells. Bone marrow is soft, spongy tissue within the body that contains hematopoietic stem cells. It is found within the centre of most bones. Hematopoietic stem cells also are found within the blood that’s moving throughout your body. When hematopoietic stem cells are damaged, they’ll not become red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These blood cells are vital and everyone features a different job:

Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. They also take CO2 to your lungs in order that they are often exhaled.

White blood cells are a neighbourhood of your system. They fight pathogens, which are the viruses and bacteria which will cause you to sick.

Platelets form clots to stop bleeding.

Types of transplant:

Autologous transplant. Stem cells for an autologous transplant come from your own body. Sometimes, cancer is treated with high-dose, intensive chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. This type of treatment can damage your stem cells and your immune system. That’s why doctors remove, or rescue, your stem cells from your blood or bone marrow before the cancer treatment begins.

After chemotherapy, the stem cells are returned to your body, restoring your system and your body’s ability to supply blood cells and fight infection. This process is additionally called an AUTO transplant or somatic cell rescue.

Allogenic transplant. Stem cells for an allogenic transplant come from another person, called a donor. The donor’s stem cells are given to the patient after the patient has chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. This is also called an ALLO transplant.

Finding a “donor match” may be a necessary step for an ALLO transplant. A match may be a healthy donor whose blood proteins, called human leukocyte antigens (HLA), closely match yours. This process is called HLA typing. Siblings from the same parents are often the best match, but another family member or an unrelated volunteer can be a match too. If your donor’s proteins closely match yours, you’re less likely to urge a significant side effect called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).In this condition, the healthy transplant cells attack your cells.

How does a transplant work?

In general, each process includes collecting the replacement stem cells, the patient receiving treatments to organize their body for the transplant, the particular transplant day, then the recovery period. Often, a little tube could also be placed within the patient’s chest that is still through the transplant process. It is called a catheter. Your health care team can offer you chemotherapy, other medications, and blood transfusions through a catheter. A catheter greatly reduces the number of needles used in the skin, since patients will need regular blood tests and other treatments during a transplant.

Evaluation and preparation for a transplant:

A transplant is very hard on your body. For many people, transplants can mean a cure, except for some people, problems can cause severe complications or maybe death. Your doctor will recommend the simplest transplant option for you. Your options depend upon the precise disease diagnosed, how healthy your bone marrow is, your age, and your general health.

Transplants can also be hard emotionally. They often require being in the hospital, being isolated, and there’s a high risk of side effects. Many of the consequences are short-term, but some problems can continue for years. This can mean changes in the way you live your life. For some people, it’s only for a short time, except for others, the changes could also be lifelong.

Before you’ve got a transplant, you would like to debate the transplant process and every one its effects together with your doctors. It also helps to talk with others who have already had transplants.

Many different medical tests will be done, and questions will be asked to try to find out how well you can handle the transplant process. These might include:

  • HLA tissue typing (this is a blood test)
  • A complete health history and physical exam
  • Evaluation of your psychological and emotional strengths
  • Identifying who is going to be your primary caregiver throughout the transplant process
  • Bone marrow biopsy (this may be a procedure that happens within the hospital or clinic)
  • CT (computed tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Heart tests, like an EKG (electrocardiogram) or echocardiogram
  • Lung studies, like a chest x-ray and PFTs (pulmonary function tests)
  • Appointments with other members of the transplant team, like a dentist, dietitian, or caseworker 
  • Blood tests, like an entire blood count, blood chemistries, and screening for viruses like hepatitis B, CMV, and HIV

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