A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure in which damaged or diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow stem cells. These stem cells can come from a donor or from the patient themselves (in the case of an autologous transplant). Bone marrow transplants are often used to treat blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as certain inherited blood disorders. The procedure can have serious risks and side effects, so it is usually only recommended for patients with severe or life-threatening conditions for which other treatments have not been successful.
What disease can BMT treat?
A bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, can be used to treat a variety of diseases, including blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, inherited blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, and certain immune system disorders such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). In some cases, a bone marrow transplant may also be used to treat certain solid tumors, such as neuroblastoma or sarcoma.
There are two main types of bone marrow transplantation: autologous and allogeneic.
- Autologous transplant: In this type of transplant, the patient’s own bone marrow is collected before they receive high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The collected marrow is then frozen and stored. After the patient has received the chemotherapy or radiation therapy, their stored marrow is thawed and returned to their body. This can help to reduce the risk of infection and bleeding during the treatment process.
- Allogeneic transplant: In this type of transplant, the bone marrow is obtained from a donor, usually a family member who is a genetic match. This type of transplant carries a higher risk of complications, such as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD occurs when the donor’s immune cells attack the patient’s healthy cells.
Additionally, there is a third type of transplant called a haploidentical transplant, which uses a partially matched related donor, usually a parent or a sibling. It is a newer type of transplant and has been found to be effective in certain populations.
A bone marrow transplant specialist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of blood disorders and cancers using bone marrow transplants. These specialists work as part of a team that includes hematologists, oncologists, and other healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat patients. They are responsible for overseeing the transplant process, including the collection and preparation of the bone marrow or stem cells, as well as the administration of the transplant and monitoring the patient’s recovery. They also provide support and guidance to patients and their families throughout the process.
Dr Vikas Dua is a renowned and accomplished bone marrow transplant surgeon in India, with more than 20 years of experience in the field of medicine. He and his team has performed many successful BMTs for thalassemia and leukemia cases for children from India, Afghanistan, Iraq, and African Countries.