Bone Marrow Transplant- Cancer/Oncology, General Medicine/ Check Up, Pediatrics

Doctors: Oncologist

What is bone marrow?

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue inside the bones, which makes blood-forming cells (blood stem cells).

What is a bone marrow transplant?

A bone marrow transplant (or stem cell transplant) is a treatment to replace damaged or unhealthy bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.

Bone marrow transplants help to treat leukemia or lymphoma, aplastic anemia or genetic disease like sickle cell disease.

What to expect before the procedure?

Before bone marrow transplant, patient receives chemotherapy with or without radiation to destroy the diseased blood-forming cells and bone marrow. Next, the healthy cells are given into bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) line. The healthy cells find their way into the marrow, where they grow and generate additional healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

The procedure:

There are three types of bone marrow transplants:

  • Autologous bone marrow transplant:  During this type of transplant, stem cells are removed from the patient before receiving chemotherapy or radiation. These stem cells are stored in a freezer. Once the chemotherapy is over, patient receives same stem cells. This process is known as a rescue transplant.
  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplant: During this type of transplant, stem cells are removed from genetically matched another person (a donor). Once the chemotherapy is over, patient receives donor’s stem cells.
  • Umbilical cord blood transplant: Stem cells are removed from a new-born baby's umbilical cord right after birth. These stem cells are frozen and stored. They are used if it is required by the same person or can be given to another genetically matched individual.

To learn more about Bone Marrow Transplant, please check our blog on BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT: WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT'S DONE.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.