Bone Marrow Transplant in India
Bone marrow is an integral part in producing blood cells. It is a soft spongy tissue which is found in the hollow parts of some bones and is responsible for sustaining stem cells. Stem cells are the immature cells that grow and divide further to produce more cells that are important in fighting infections, carrying oxygen throughout the body and forming platelets. The bone marrow and stem cells play an important part in developing immunity and strengthening defense system of the human body.
- Bone marrow diseases such as aplastic anemia
- Blood cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma
- Diseases such as sickle cell that are related to immune system and genetics
Bone Marrow Transplant Vs Stem Cell Transplant
Bone marrow transplant is also known as blood or marrow transplant. Bone marrow transplant is done to replace the damaged and unhealthy bone marrow with that of a healthy one. The diseases that bone marrow transplant can treat are –
- It is more feasible to collect stem cells from the bloodstream instead of from the bone marrow.
- It is likely to extract more cells from the blood stream than that from the marrow.
- With a stem cell transplant blood count recovery rate is quicker.
Types of Bone Marrow Transplant
There are basically three types of bone marrow transplant:
1. Autologous bone marrow transplant – Also known as a rescue transplant, in autologous transplant the stem cells are retrieved from the patient’s own body. Before the patient goes through the chemotherapy treatment, the stem cells are extracted and stored in a freezer. Once the chemotherapy is over the same stem cells are deposited back in the body to start producing normal blood cells.
2. Allogeneic bone marrow transplant – In this type of transplant the stem cells are extracted from another person’s body who is commonly termed as the donor. It is important for donor’s genes to at least partially match with the genes of the receiver and this is the reason why tests are conducted to assess the compatibility of the genes. In this case mostly the close relatives, parents and children are preferred but the non related people can also become a donor.
3. Umbilical cord blood transplant – This comes under the category of allogeneic transplant. In this, the stem cells are extracted from the umbilical cord of the newly born baby right after the birth. The stem cells are immediately stored under the frozen condition until the day when the transplant is required. The blood cells found in the umbilical cord are at a very mature stage so there is no need to match them with the genes of the receiver. In This type of transplant it takes longer time for the blood count to recover as the stem cells are lesser in number.
First of all you will be assigned for various tests by the physician that will determine your overall health condition. The total health check process might last for few days after which you will be prepared for the further procedure. Before you are scheduled for the transplant, you will have to undergo with the process of chemotherapy (chemo). This therapy can be both, with or without radiation and basically targets the diseased blood cells and marrow, destroying them completely.
Once this procedure is over then comes the part of transplanting the new healthy cells in your bloodstream. It cannot be called as a surgery as it takes place through inserting an intravenous (IV) line that facilitates the complete transfusion process. The cells gradually make their way through into the marrow and start growing there once again, making healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India
- For Autologous Transplant the cost is approximately – $20,000 USD for Myelomas and $26,000 USD for Lymphomas.
- For Allogeneic Transplant the cost ranges between – $32,000 USD – $35,000 USD for Leukemias and other disorders.
Total procedure of bone marrow transplant right from starting till the end, approximately costs somewhere between $20,000 USD to $35,000 USD and can vary according to the needs and demands of the patient.
The average time duration for the stay at hospital varies between one to two weeks. It entirely depends on the recovery of the patient.
Right after the stem cell transplant the patient is usually at a high risk of contracting diseases and infections and so isolation is required until the bone marrow is again at a position of producing enough blood cells. The approximate stay in the isolation room lasts for somewhere around a week. The complete recovery takes around two to six weeks depending upon the everyday health progress of the patient.