Bone Marrow Transplantation Centers
Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of the bones, such as hip and thigh bones. It contains immature cells, called stem cells.
The stem cells can develop into red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body, white blood cells, which fight infections, and platelets, which help the blood to clot. In short, the main cells that generate all tissues and organs in the body are stem cells. These cells have the ability to divide, renew themselves, and transform into organ and tissues.
A bone marrow transplant is a procedure that replaces a person’s ill bone marrow stem cells. Doctors use these transplants to treat people with certain diseases. Bone Marrow transplants are used most commonly for the treatment of:
• Severe blood diseases such aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia or thalassemia
• Multiple myeloma
• Some immune deficiency diseases
Before a patient receives bone marrow transplant, she/he would need to get high doses of chemotherapy and possibly radiation. This destroys the faulty stem cells in the bone marrow. It also suppresses body’s immune system so that it won’t attack the new stem cells after the transplant.
There are 3 types of bone marrow transplantation:
1) Autologous: Bone marrow transplant is called “autologous transplant” when it is performed in the patient by their own stem cells
2) Allogeneic: Bone marrow transplant is performed by the cells taken from relatives or from unrelated donors who have tissue compatibility. The stem cell of the blood is transplanted in the bone marrow transplant.
3) Syngeneic: This is a rare method where stem cells are taken from one of the monozygotic twins to the other.
Our partner facilities have Bone Marrow Transplantation Centers which includes all the infrastructure and equipment for transplantation. All services in the centers are given according to international standards and in sterile settings. The department for hospitalized patients provides transplantation, and the outpatient clinics provides post transplantation care services.
Today’s Technology and Implementation
Stem cells used to be directly collected from bone marrow using special needles under operating room conditions. But this method is rarely applied today. In the recent years, the stem cells are transferred from the bone marrow to the blood via a special medication and the cells are collected by a special method. This method is not a surgical procedure.
Transplant of the bone marrow requires no surgical procedure, either. The marrow is transplanted in the patient with a vascular access, the bone marrow cells find the bone marrow themselves with their biological features and start the blood production. The main challenge of the marrow transplant is to follow up the patient while the marrow acquires function in its new location.
In this critical period, red and white blood cells and thrombocytes which are responsible for coagulation cannot be produced. Therefore, this is a period in which complications such as anemia, infection and hemorrhage may develop. It is crucial to prevent the marrow rejection or the diseases caused by the new marrow via the treatment of the undesirable situations such as infections and hemorrhage which may develop in this period.
The success in bone marrow transplant is achieved when a good technical infrastructure and good isolation from microbes, an interdisciplinary accord, cooperation and team experience collaborate and when the departments such as intensive care provide the necessary intervention in the organ transplant and in the accompanying complications.