Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant

Autologous Stem Cell Transplant in Delhi

Bone Marrow Transplant Centre at BLK-Max super speciality hospital is one of the largest bone marrow transplant centres in India. We offer specialist services to patients across a wider catchment area. The Centre aims to deliver advanced patient care, supported by a team of expert surgeons, haematologists, doctors and nurses for providing advanced Bone marrow transplant services with excellent patient outcomes.

What Is Autologous Transplant?

Autologous means cells acquired from the patient’s body, who is the donor and the receiver simultaneously. An autologous transplant is usually done on the patient using his/her own bone marrow or stem cells.

The transplant process can be done either by using bone marrow harvesting or peripheral blood stem cells:

Bone Marrow Harvesting:

  • In this process, the bone marrow is harvested first from the centre of the bones, such as the hip bone, and pelvis, by sedating the patient using general anaesthesia. After that, it is extracted with multiple needle aspirations.

Stem Cells Harvesting:

  • The process of harvesting Peripheral blood stem cells from the patient’s body is called Apheresis. In this process, the blood is removed from the patient’s arm and is transferred to a special centrifuge called an apheresis machine, where stem cells are isolated from the blood, and the remaining blood is transferred back to the patient through another arm.

The next step is to process the harvested Bone marrow/ stem cells.

Body Location- Generally bone marrow is harvested from hip bone, pelvis and sternum.

Alternate name- Bone marrow transplant is also known as Stem cell transplant.

What Are The Indications For This Transplantation?

There are various serious and often fatal illnesses that require bone marrow transplant as a cure. Such illnesses include:

  • Cancerous Illnesses (80% Of Cases) - This kind of disease includes various types of blood cancers, leukaemias, and certain diseases of the lymphatic system. This situation can come up with people of any age group.
  • Non-Malignant Illnesses -These illnesses include a condition where the bone marrow stops functioning, consequently to hepatitis or poisoning or with no evident cause. This category also involves conditions where the creation of a certain type of red blood cell is disrupted, such as thalassaemia or drepanocytosis. It also includes severe infant immunodeficiencies or hereditary diseases.

What Is The Procedure Of The Transplantation?

Since it’s a crucial treatment process, a patient has to undergo various processes before the transplant to ensure high safety and better outcomes.

Step 1: Pre-Transplant Process: A doctor might prescribe Pre-transplant tests and procedures, where a series of tests and procedures are performed to ensure the patient’s general health and the status of the medical condition. This process of evaluation may take several days.

  • Beginning Medical Evaluation-  The patient undergoes various tests to check the overall health..
  • Central Venous Catheter Evaluation And Insertion- A catheter (thin tube) is inserted into the neck or chest. The catheter acts as a pipeline through which medications and stem cells are infused.
  • Apheresis/Bone-Marrow/Stem Cells Harvest- The patient will receive injections to boost stem cell production and circulate them in blood so that they can be collected.

Step 2: Conditioning Process: After the completion of the medical evaluation, a patient has to undergo the conditioning process. In this process, either chemotherapy or radiation therapy or a combination of both is given to the patient to:

  • Destroy any type of cancer cells in case of malignancy
  • Preparing the patient’s bone marrow for the growth of new stem cells.
  • Suppressing the patient's immune system

Step 3: Autologous Transplant: A patient now has to go through the cytotoxic treatment, which involves the transplantation of the harvested and processed cells back into the patient's body through a central venous catheter. These cells then travel through the bloodstream into the places inside the bones, where they tend to create new bone marrow.

Step 4: Engraftment: In this process, the patient is under close monitoring for the sign of the growth of new stem cells along with supportive care.

Step 5: Post Engraftment Monitoring And Continuation Of Immunosuppression

Follow up

After bone transplantation, the patient will stay in the hospital or visit the hospital every day for a couple of weeks. Initially, the count of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets will be less, so antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent infection. But gradually, within 2 to 6 weeks, the number of blood cells increases to normal levels.

What Are The Precautions One Must Take Before And After The Transplantation?

Some of the precautions a patient must follow before and after the transplantation process include:

Before The Transplantation:

  • Tell your Cancer Doctor about your medical history or current medication(if any).
  • Undergo all the tests and procedures asked by your doctor.
  • Prepare yourself for the transplant both mentally and physically.
  • Avoid the use of Alcohol and Tobacco, a week before the transplant.
  • Do not eat a heavy meal a day before the transplant.

After The Transplantation:

  • Your immune system is weak; you might catch infections easily; therefore, try to maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Take all the medications prescribed by the doctor on time.
  • Avoid environmental exposure.
  • Try to keep your room clean and focus more on maintaining proper hygiene.
  • Make sure to make handwashing a habit before and after everything you do.  
  • Get the proper vaccination.
  • Maintain a healthy balanced diet.

Are There Any Risk Complications Involved?

Generally, a patient receives high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy before a transplant, which comes with complications such as:

  • Infections
  • Bleeding
  • Anaemia
  • Organ problems, such as liver and lung problems

Other complications due to transplant include:

  • Pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Chest pain

The success rate of autologous bone marrow transplant is very high as it is the safest transplantation with very less complications involved.

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