Bone Marrow Transplantation is replacing or transplanting healthy bone marrow or stem cells to replace bone marrow affected by a malignant condition (cancer) or bone marrow that is responsible for an immune deficiency condition. Bone marrow is the soft, sponge-like material found inside your bones and contains immature cells known as hematopoietic or blood-forming cells. The Hematopoietic cells keep dividing into more blood-forming cells; and mature into one of three types of blood cells: infection-fighting white blood cells, oxygen-carrying red blood cells and clot-forming platelets. Though most hematopoietic stem cells are found in the bone marrow, some cells called peripheral blood stem cells are found in your bloodstream. Blood in the umbilical cord also contains hematopoietic cells. Cells from any of these sources can also be used in transplant.
The first step to Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant is destroying the diseased cells from your body through high doses of chemotherapy or radiation called conditioning. At Aster Medcity, we have the most advanced technology for these procedures, including Kerala’s first True Beam Linear Accelerator and dedicated radiotherapy rooms to ensure maximum patient safety. All radiotherapy treatments we provide are based on NCCN (USA) and ESMO (Europe) guidelines.
As cancerous cells divide faster than healthier cells, we can, through conditioning destroy the existing bone marrow cells so that we can infuse healthy, transplanted cells into your body effectively.
The donor for a bone marrow transplant can either be the patient or another individual. When patients donate their own marrow, the marrow is protected from the high doses of chemotherapy and radiation given to treat the cancer. Once the chemotherapy and radiation therapy is completed, the protected bone marrow is given back to the patient. This procedure is called an autologous transplant.
When patients receive bone marrow or stem cells from a donor, the procedure is called an allogeneic transplant. This is usually done in conditions where the bone marrow itself is contaminated with cancer cells. Using another donor guarantees that the new bone marrow is free of cancer. By providing a new immune system to the patient, it is hoped that the new immune system can eradicate any remaining cancer cells that may have survived the chemotherapy and radiation therapy. When using an allogeneic donor, a compatible match must be found. If possible, a brother or sister is generally considered the best donor, but if they are not a suitable match, then a suitable volunteer donor is identified from the national registry.
With advance in technology, obtaining cells from a donor or harvesting has become relatively simple. Bone marrow is harvested using needle from the hip or at times breastbone area, after inducing general or local anaesthesia.
The harvested bone marrow is processed to remove blood and bone fragments, combined with a preservative and frozen at sub-zero temperatures to keep the stem cells alive but dormant until required. This technique is known as cryopreservation. We have a cryopreservation unit where we can cryopreserve stem cells for many years.
In order to harvest PBSCs, the donor is given medications to produce and release excess stem cells into the blood stream.
Called apheresis, blood is drawn from the donor and subject to a process that removes only the stem cells. The blood is then returned to the donor and the collected cells, stored in the cryopreservation unit. This usually takes 4 to 6 hours.
We also obtain stem cells from umbilical cord on consent, to treat children and adults. We can cryopreserve these cells or even the entire cord for years.
After the transplant. the stem cells, after entering your bloodstream, travel to the bone marrow and begin to produce new white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in a process known as “engraftment.” This usually occurs within about 2 to 4 weeks after the transplantation. Complete recovery of your immune function will take longer - up to several months for autologous transplant and 1 - 2 years for allogeneic or syngeneic transplants. We will evaluate your blood health through various tests including bone marrow aspiration to confirm whether new blood cells are being produced and there’s no relapse.
All treatments and therapies are performed by our associate Aster Medcity, Kochi, Kerala, India. Aster Medcity holds the responsibility of the treatment effectiveness and other services mentioned above.
After submitting your enquiry, you will be receiving a consultation over the phone, email or chat from an expert from Aster. The exact treatment procedure, patient qualification guidelines for the surgery, effectiveness of the surgery, do’s and don’ts before and after treatment, etc are communicated to you by the expert.
Before booking, you will be communicated the terms and conditions of the associate, which you have to agree for proceeding with the confirmation.