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Bone Marrow Transplant

About the Department 

A medical procedure by which healthy blood stem cells are infused into your body in order to take the place of the impaired or contaminated bone marrow is known as a bone marrow transplant.

Where the body is unable to produce the requisite amounts of healthy blood cells, a bone marrow transplant may be necessary. A bone marrow transplant may be used to restore a new immune system in the body or even replace the bone marrow that has been destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy and radiation.

The bone marrow transplant can be done by two methods – either by using the patient’s own bone marrow or by using the bone marrow from a donor.

Bone marrow transplants at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta are performed with the utmost precision and supervision by a specialist team of oncologists who are some of the best minds in the business today. We concentrate on excellence and that’s why we collaborate and consult your case history with a highly skilled team of medical oncologists, clinical haematologists, surgical oncologists, doctors from allied disciplines, expert practice nurses who participate in the transplant process.

At Fortis, Bannerghatta, our doctors have several years of experience at administering bone marrow procedures for both adults as well as children in order to battle a number of cancerous and non-cancerous conditions. With such an extensive history of performing bone marrow transplants at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta, only proves that our specialists are practiced and trained with the know-how and skill to deal with the most critical of cases with professional and individualised care.

Areas of Care

Both malignant and benign tumours can be treated by a bone marrow transplant. The list of conditions includes:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bone marrow failure syndromes
  • Chronic leukemia
  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Plasma cell disorders
  • POEMS syndrome
  • Primary amyloidosis


Bone marrow transplant is certainly an option of treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with these conditions. However, you will have lengthy consultations along with extensive diagnostic screenings before your specialist at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta, will recommend this procedure.

Our Diagnostic Services

There are many diagnostic screenings, tests and procedures that a prospective bone marrow transplant patient has to undergo. The list includes:

Pre-transplant Tests and Procedures:

- Blood Tests will include:

- Tissue typing that is required in the case of allogenic bone marrow transplant patients
- Blood samples will be taken for screening for infectious diseases like:

  • Hepatitis
  • HIV or human immunodeficiency virus
  • Syphilis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Varicella Zoster
  • CMV or Cytomegalovirus
  • EBV or Epstein-Barr virus
  • HSV or Herpes Simplex virus
  • West Nile Virus
  • HTLV1/11 or Human T-Cell lymphotropic virus
  • Chagas

- The next set of blood samples will be taken to check organ functionalities. The list of test includes:

  • Ferritin
  • Pregnancy test
  • Complete Metabolic Panel
  • Haemoglobin solubility
  • ABO blood type
  • Bleeding times
  • CBC and platelets
  • Quantitative immunoglobulins

- Further blood works may comprise of:

  • Disease-specific labs for multiple myeloma

- Chest X-ray

- Pulmonary function tests (PFTs, lung tests)

- Computed tomography scan (CT Scan)

- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

- Heart tests

  • Electrocardiogram or EKG
  • Echocardiogram

- Bone marrow biopsy

- Skeletal survey

Collecting Stem Cells for Transplant:

- For Autologous Transplant

- To collect stem cells in the case of an autologous transplant, you will receive daily injections in order to expedite the production of stem cells. The injection also starts moving the stem cells that are circulating in your bloodstream that will make the collection process easier.

- This process will be followed by a procedure known an apheresis where blood is drawn from your vein. A machine is then used to circulate the blood that separates it into various parts like stem cells.

- For Allogenic Transplant

- Stem Cell Harvest or a Bone Marrow Harvest is the process by which either stem cells or bone marrow is extracted from a donor. 

- Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant

- A patient may find a match from an umbilical cord blood sample that has been donated at the time of the baby’s birth by the parents. 

The Conditioning Process:

- During this phase, you will be going through rounds of chemotherapy and radiation that will help to destroy the cancerous cell, subdue your immune system and prepare your bone marrow to accept the new stem cells.

Going through these diagnostic screenings, tests and procedures takes a toll on you both physically and mentally. You may also have a number of questions too. Speak to your transplant specialist at Fortis, who will be happy to answer all your queries.

Bone Marrow Transplant Process

Undergoing the Bone Marrow Transplant:

Day zero, which is the day you complete the conditioning process is also the day when your body is infused with the stem cells. During the infusion process, there’s no need for sedation as the procedure is painless. 

Post the infusion of stem cells, they then travel to the bone and start generating new blood cells. However, bear in mind that it may take several weeks for the creation of the new blood cells and that your blood counts will start recovering.

The preservative component in the thawed bone marrow or blood stem cells may cause some side effects like:

  • You may experience headaches
  • You may feel nauseas
  • You an experience shortness of breath
  • You may observe an unknown taste in your mouth

Experiencing these side effects may vary from patient to patient. In order to reduce the effects of the preservative, you may be administered with IV fluids.

After Your Bone Marrow Transplant:

After the infusion of the stem cells, they start travelling through your body towards the bone in order to produce new and healthy blood cells. This process is called engraftment. Many more blood tests will follow and your health condition will be closely monitored. 

Results:

The objective of the bone marrow transplant is to heal your body of certain critical diseases and put the cancerous cells into remission. The success of the transplantation procedure will largely depend on your present health condition.

The goal for us at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta, through the bone marrow transplantation process is to either cure or control the critical condition that is ailing your body, prolong your life span and recuperate you into a healthy lifestyle.

Treatment Options

The treatment options under bone marrow transplant cover three broad categories. Depending on the source of the bone marrow for the transplant, the types of bone marrow transplants can be divided into:

Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant:

During this procedure the patient is the source of the bone marrow. 

Allogeneic bone marrow transplant:

For this procedure, the bone marrow is harvested from a donor that has a genetic match with the patient. The best donors are usually siblings or parents.

- Unrelated bone marrow transplants (UBMT or MUD for matched unrelated donor):
The sub-type of an Allogenic bone marrow transplant can also be performed by extracting the bone marrow from an unrelated donor. The procedure is known as Unrelated bone marrow transplants. 

Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant:

This process uses the cord blood stem cells that have been extracted at the time of a baby’s birth. The stem cells from the umbilical cord blood may be used in combination with bone marrow stem cells in order to perform a bone marrow transplant in an adult. 

It requires a lot of planning by your healthcare team at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta prior to performing a bone marrow transplant. Your team of specialists with sit through multiple sessions and explain the various processes and answer any questions that you may have. Once the treatment begins, your transplant team will help you and your family, by providing physical and emotional support through the entire process. 

Our Team that cares

The Department of Bone Marrow Transplant at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta has top of the line infrastructure, skilled transplant surgeons along with experts from associated disciplines who are experienced to deal with your case. However, with any bone marrow transplant case, the procedure is long drawn and the survival rates are variable. Whilst modern medicine and new research supports many more conditions that are now curable with a bone marrow transplant, a lot will depend how your body reacts to the infusion of stem cells along with the post-operative care that you receive. 

At Fortis, we are committed towards constant follow-up care that is absolutely essential for a patient who has undergone a bone marrow transplant. With our excellent support groups in place, we will partner you in this journey to recovery starting from your treatment, transplant to healing. 

LEADING ONCOLOGISTS & MULTI-SPECIALISTS IN BANGALORE