Bone Marrow Transplant in India

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Bone Marrow Transplant – Introduction

Before we talk about bone marrow transplant treatment options in India, let us first understand about this disease in detail. A deeper understanding will help you choose the best hospital in India for bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow is a soft gelatine-like tissue found in the cavity of some of our bones, like thigh and hip bones. It comprises of Stem Cells which develop into the Red Blood Cells (RBC), White Blood Cells (WBC) & Platelets. All these three play important roles such as – RBC carries oxygen throughout our body, WBC fights against infections, and the platelets help in blood clotting. Bone Marrow Transplant in India When there is a problem with stem cells, it affects the development and functioning of blood cells. This results into various kinds of bone marrow diseases which further require bone marrow transplant in order to replace damaged blood cells with healthy ones. The cause of these diseases could be both genetic as well as environmental aspects.

Bone Marrow Cancer and its Types

Bone marrow cancer occurs when cells in your marrow start to grow abnormally or at an accelerated pace. Thus, the cancer that begins in the bone marrow is known as bone marrow cancer. It is also called as blood cancer and is different from bone cancer. Continue reading ahead to know about the various types of bone marrow cancer, which are classified as –
  • Multiple Myeloma (Cancer of Plasma Cells) Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer which forms in one of white blood cellsknown as plasma cells. Your healthy plasma cells help you in fighting against infections by creating antibodies which recognize and attack germs. When multiple myeloma occurs, then the cancerous plasma cellsstart accumulating in the bone marrow and push out healthy blood cells. Bone Marrow Cancer and its Types
  • Leukemia (Blood Cancer) Under developed blood cells, also called as blasts or leukemia cells begin growing abnormally in the bone marrow area resulting in high number of abnormal blood cells, called as blood cancer cells. There are four main types of leukemia– 1. Acute Myeloidor Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) 2. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) 3. Chronic Myeloid or Myelogenous leukemia (CML) 4. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Leukemia (Blood Cancer)
  • Lymphoma (Lymphatic Cancer) Our lymphatic system is our body’s germ fighting system. It includes – lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and thymus gland. Lymphoma is the cancer of this system and begins in the infection fighting cells of our body. It can develop into cancerous tumoursas well.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplant is the treatment used for patients with above bone marrow diseases. It is also helpful in treatment of some other disorders like thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia. Stem cells are special kind of cells that our bone marrow produces. These cells only turn into various types of blood cells we commonly known as – platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. So, a stem cell transplant is a procedure that involves destroying of unhealthy blood cells and subsequently replacing them with healthy stem cells that are removed from the bone marrow or blood, says one of the best doctors in India for bone marrow transplant, Dr. Shishir Seth. Bone marrow or stem cell transplant is carried out for treating conditions where bone marrow is damaged and unable to produce healthy blood cells.

What happens during Bone Marrow Transplant?

A bone marrow or stem cell transplant is a lengthy process and involves below 5 main stages – 1. General Examination and Investigations 2. Harvesting 3. Conditioning 4. Transplantation of conditioned stem cells 5. Recovery Bone marrow is collected and examined through – bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy tests. What happens during Bone Marrow Transplant?

Types of Bone Marrow Transplant

Depending upon who the donor is, bone marrow transplant is categorized as below –
  • Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant In this treatment module, donor is the patient herself or himself. During the treatment procedure, stem cells will be taken from your body either by bone marrow harvest or by a process called – Apheresis which involves collecting peripheral blood stem cells. These cells are then frozen, and returned back to your bod after doing intensive treatment.
  • Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant In this type of bone marrow transplant, the donor has the same genetic type as that of the patient. Here also, stem cells are extracted either by bone marrow harvest or by apheresis from a donor who is genetically matched. Donor is usually patient’s own sibling. This is also done through a Haploidentical (Half Matched) donor. Here, a half HLA matched parent or sibling is the donor, instead of a fully HLA matched family donor. Unrelated Matched Bone Marrow Transplant can also be done if there is availability of genetically matched marrow or stem cells from an unrelated donor.
  • Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant During Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant, stem cells are extracted from the umbilical cord of an immediately born infant. These stem cells grow into mature andwell-functioning blood cells.They reproduce faster and more effectively as compared to stem cells extraced from the bone marrow of an older child or an adult. These stem cells are later on tested, and then their typing is done.Next, they are counted and eventually frozen till they are required for a transplant.
Types of Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone Marrow Transplant in India

A bone marrow transplant in India can be a vital treatment for people with certain types of cancer such as leukemia and lymphoma. However, the procedure can be complex and expensive. Long-term outcomes of Bone Marrow Transplant in India would depend upon various factors like –genetic making, age and general overall health condition, type of transplant, body’s tolerance of certain medications, severity of the disease and extent to which disease can be treated. Like any other disease, the outcome of bone marrow transplant and long-term survival chances of a patient varies from case to case. How closely the donor and recipient are genetically matching is also an important factor. Experience and expertise of the best bone marrow transplant specialists in India has significantly improved the outcome for bone marrow transplant in children as well as adults. Our haematologists are continuously exploring and discovering new methods for refining treatment methodologies and also for ensuring reduced complications & side effects of bone marrow transplant procedure. The cost of bone marrow transplant in India can range approximately $18,000 to $44,000. And that just for the transplant itself. Additional costs, like pre-transplant tests and post-transplant care, can add upto to another costs. Fortunately, there are a good number of hospitals in India that offer bone marrow transplants at nominal costs.

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