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Marrow Transplant

Marrow transplant treatment

Most people who need a blood or marrow transplant have a type of cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma. In addition, depending on the type and severity of the disease, different types of bone marrow transplants may be required.

Prometeymed collaborates with the world’s leading physicians, clinics and hospitals in the field of marrow therapy. We support our patients every step of the way, from diagnosis to post-treatment care, while ensuring that the patient is treated in the most comfortable way possible with our range of professional services.

You will find all the answers about marrow transplant treatment here.

Marrow transplantation

A bone marrow transplant is a medical treatment in which bone marrow is replaced with healthy cells. The cells that are replaced come either from your own body or from a donor.

A bone marrow transplant is also called a stem cell transplant or more specifically a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Transplantation is used to treat certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma, and other blood and immune system diseases that affect the bone marrow.

How is a marrow transplant performed?

Most people who need a blood or marrow transplant have cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma. There are different types of marrow transplant and the type and severity of your disease will determine what type of transplant you will need.

An allogeneic transplant involves taking donor bone marrow, umbilical cord stem cells or peripheral stem cells. This donor is genetically compatible and may be related to you, but does not have to be. An autologous transplant involves transplanting your own peripheral blood stem cells.

Who can receive a marrow transplant?

A bone marrow transplant is performed if you have a blood disease that can only be treated with very intensive chemotherapy. For example, marrow transplants are performed for certain diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow). The bone marrow is the most chemically sensitive tissue in the body and can be completely disorganized by intensive chemotherapy.

Bone marrow transplants are performed in different ways, depending on the disease and the type of transplant chosen. The transplant will differ depending on whether you use your own bone marrow cells or cells from a donor.

Marrow transplantation can be performed in three different ways. These transplants are called autologous, allogeneic and haploidentical.

Autologous marrow transplants

An autologous bone marrow transplant involves receiving very high doses of chemotherapy followed by an infusion of peripheral stem cells or bone marrow that you have already collected. High-dose chemotherapy is used to destroy the cancer in your body. The infusion of new marrow or peripheral stem cells replaces the bone marrow destroyed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. You may be a candidate for an autologous transplant if you have lymphoma, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s disease, germ cell cancer or certain types of leukemia.

Allogeneic marrow transplants

An allogeneic transplant involves receiving very high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, followed by an infusion of your donor’s bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells. This is an intensive treatment that fights to destroy the cancer in your body. The infusion of new bone marrow, cord blood or peripheral stem cells from the donor replaces the bone marrow destroyed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Allogeneic transplant patients are at risk of developing a complication called graft-versus-host disease, or GvHD. GvHD is a condition in which donor cells from the graft attack the organs or tissues of the patient (or host). The condition can be mild and treated on an outpatient basis, or it can be severe and require hospitalization. If you have leukemia, aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia, myelofibrosis, high-grade lymphoma or other types of cancer, you may be a candidate for an allogeneic transplant.

Unrelated allogeneic marrow transplants

In order to perform a bone marrow transplant, the patient’s close relatives are first checked. Since siblings have full bone marrow compatibility, if any, siblings are often sought first. If the bone marrow is not compatible with siblings, close relatives are examined and necessary tests are performed. However, if there is no compatible bone marrow in relatives, the specialist and the doctor start to search for non-relatives for bone marrow. Of course, the search for a suitable donor can take a long time and therefore marrow transplants from relatives are preferred whenever possible.

Once a suitable donor has been found, unrelated allogeneic marrow transplants follow a similar process to marrow transplants from relatives.

Haploidentical marrow transplants

A haploidentical marrow transplant is a type of allogeneic marrow transplant. It uses healthy, blood-forming cells from a half-matched donor to replace unhealthy cells. The donor is typically a family member.

In allogeneic transplants, doctors do a blood test to find out your human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type. HLA is a protein or marker found on most cells in your body. Doctors look for donor or umbilical cord blood that closely matches your HLA.

But sometimes they cannot find a close HLA match. In this case, a haploidentical transplant may be an option. This is a type of allogeneic transplant where the donor matches exactly half of your HLA.

A haploidentical, i.e. half-matched, donor is usually your mother, father or child. Parents are always half matches for their children. Siblings (brothers or sisters) have a 50% chance (1 in 2) of being a half match for each other. Other family members (such as cousins, aunts or uncles) are unlikely to be half matches.