Lets read about bone marrow transplantation & its myths –
Bone marrow is the thick, spongy tissue within the bones that develops red and white blood cells and platelets. As bones are present everywhere in the body so bone marrow will also be present in all parts of the body. Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) is done to replace weak bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. Unspecialized Hematopoietic Stem Cells are also present in the bone marrow. These stem cells or mother cells have two properties –
- Differentiation into different blood cells or daughter cells, and
- Renewal into new stem cells or mother cells.
Many cancers may hinder the average production/ renewal and differentiation of such stem cells.
The bone marrow transplant is essential if the bone marrow is not healthy enough or cannot work properly due to hematological disorders or blood cancer. Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) is done to replace weak bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. Unlike solid organs (kidney, liver, heart) transplant, this is not a surgical process as the majority of us know/ understand. This is purely a medical procedure in which transplantation of new blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells replaces the existing weak bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells. As a result, new blood cells will be formed and will ultimately contribute to new marrow development that will cure and prevent other disorders. For bone marrow transplantation, healthy stem cells can either be extracted from the patient’s own body (autologous BMT) or from an HLA matched family or unrelated donor (allogeneic BMT). Frankly, if we speak autologous BMT is not at all a BMT as here we are using patients own hematopoietic stem cells. In autologous BMT use of the patient’s own stem cells is done to rescue him from the side effects of high-dose chemotherapy.
Dr. S.K. Gupta is a renowned Hematologist in India, practicing as a hematology consultant at Hematology and BMT Institute International with extensive experience of over 15 years in the field. He has performed over 250 Bone Marrow Transplants for patients suffering from various Hematological blood disorders in India and across the globe. He is a specialist in the treatment of all blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen disorders. He and his team are comfortable in treating children’s also. Let’s look at some interesting points that he came across while treating one of his patients.
In 2015, a girl was diagnosed with blood cancer and had relapsed three times. A curative therapy was used through Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation as it was the mother who donated the stem cells which was only half matching (Haploidentical )and they did not have a fully matched HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) donor. Due to this reason, all the other oncologists were reluctant to go on with the procedure because Allogeneic BMT/HSCT is more complicated and demanding than Autologous BMT/HSCT. This is a recent and much-needed advancement in the field of HSCT since the first successful HSCT was done 40 years ago (1968). It was even more challenging to conduct regular services due to COVID-19, especially when the hospital is treating active COVID-19 patients. Dr. S.K. Gupta not only provides excellent treatment but also patiently answers all the queries related to the illness. He motivates and urges people not to give up.
There are few myths about BMT which need to be busted:
Patient perspective for Bone Marrow Transplantation :-
- It is a Surgical Procedure.
- Surgery is the last resort in treatment, we should try some medicines and if they don’t work only then should we go with this treatment.
- A matching blood group is a must.
- I will receive lifelong treatment.
- It’s a very high-risk procedure
Donor perspective for BMT :-
- The donor will have a lot of side effects, the blood-producing capacity will go down, immunity will go down, the capacity to fight COVID19 will go down, etc.
- Umbilical cord Hematopoietic Stem Cells are stored for the child, so there is no need to worry.
Hematology and BMT Institute International is a global healthcare hospital that provides quality care to the people. We provide guidance and treatment as per recent developments across the world. We follow strict protocols when using the equipment and while handling patients by keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the patient’s medical conditions.