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
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.