All Yo Need To Know: Bone Marrow Transplant

All Yo Need To Know: Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone Marrow Transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Its also called SCT – Stem cell transplant. These days its the stem cells that are collected from the blood.


Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. The bone marrow produces blood cells. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of your different blood cells.

There are 4 kinds of bone marrow transplants:

  • Autologous bone marrow transplant:

The term auto means self. Stem cells are removed from you before you receive high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The stem cells are stored in a freezer. After high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatments, your stems cells are put back in your body to make normal blood cells. This is called a rescue transplant.

Positives – Less Side effects

Negatives – Some cancer cells may remain

  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplant:

The term “allo” means other. Stem cells are removed from another person, called a donor. Most times, the donor’s genes must at least partly match your genes. Special tests are done to see if a donor is a good match for you. its called HLA matching. A brother or sister is most likely to be a good match. Sometimes parents, children, and other relatives are good matches. Donors who are not related to you, yet still match, may be found through national bone marrow registries. but there has to be a full 8/8 good match for above.

MUD – Matched Unrelated Donor

  • Haploidentical Stem Cell Transplant:

Half Match Transplant. It’s easy to do as one doesn’t need a full match and it can be done with family.

Positives : – New cells are cancer free.

Negatives – More side effects. Chance of rejection of donor cells.

  • Umbilical cord blood transplant:

This is a type of allogeneic transplant. Stem cells are removed from a new-born baby’s umbilical cord right after birth. The stem cells are frozen and stored until they are needed for a transplant. Umbilical cord blood cells are very immature so there is less of a need for perfect matching. Due to the smaller number of stem cells, blood counts take much longer to recover. Also this is not very common in India because one doesn’t easily get a match.


Author: Ishita Goyal 



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