Explain what a Bone Marrow Transplant or BMT for leukemia patients is, it can be described to be a procedure that involves the replacement of sick or impaired stem cells in the bone marrow match with healthy ones. The procedure is alternatively termed ‘stem cell transplant’.
A leukemia bone marrow transplant is mostly required for individuals whose bone marrow is no longer capable of functioning to create sufficient blood cells that are healthy. There are two types of BMT procedures:
Autologous Transplant- When the patient’s own cells are used for this procedure, it is called an autologous transplant
Allogeneic Transplant– When a donor donates their stem cells to provide the patient with (healthy) stem cells to produce blood, it is called an allogeneic transplant.
Why Do Patients Require BMT Procedure?
This transplant helps with one or more of the following:
- Providing new and healthy stem cells that can assist with directly killing the cancer cells
- Replacement of diseased or impaired bone marrow with healthy, new, blood-producing stem cells
- Providing safety while undergoing treatment that includes radiation or chemotherapy in high doses by saving or restoring the bone marrow that has been damaged or impaired due to the treatment
What To Expect During and Post Bone Marrow Transplant?
During the Transplant- The bone marrow transplant takes place once the ‘conditioning’ process is over. The transplant process involves the infusion of healthy and new stem cells into the patient’s body using their central line on the transplant day. This process is a painless one, and the patient stays awake throughout the procedure.
After the Transplant- Once the new and healthy stem cells gain entry into the patient’s body, these cells proceed using the blood into the patient’s bone marrow. Over time, these cells begin to multiply, producing healthy and new blood cells inside the patient’s body. This process is known as ‘engraftment’, and can take many weeks to produce a sufficient amount of blood cells inside the body, and in some cases even longer.
Tests and Monitoring- Following the transplant, the patient will have to undergo blood and other tests for up to a few weeks for monitoring their health condition. The individual may also require medicine for managing side effects like diarrhea and nausea. Medical care will be ensured right after the bone marrow transplant procedure to prevent further complications in the patient’s body like infections, and they may have to remain for many days in the medical facility. Based on the risk factors and complications involved, the patient might be asked to stay for some more weeks/months close to the medical facility to monitor their health condition.
Blood Transfusion- If the patient’s body does not produce healthy blood cells post BMT, they may also have to undergo platelet and red blood cell transfusion on a periodic basis until the body begins to produce a sufficient amount of blood cells.
After AML Leukemia bone marrow transplant¸ the patient is at great risk of contracting infections or undergoing complications in the body for years. They will require to undergo follow-ups with their health professionals for their entire lives so that their health condition can be kept under strict monitoring, even in their later years.
Gift of Life Marrow Registry
Address: 800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL
Phone: (800) 962-7769