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Bone Marrow Transplant in India for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Jacob Pittmas
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Also known as BMT in short, Bone Marrow Transplantation is a potential life-saving procedure in cases of lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia treatment. Moreover patients that are undergoing radiation therapy and chemotherapy for cancer treatments sometimes may also require BMT as their own bone marrow has weakened. Bone marrow transplantation is basically a procedure where doctors effectively replace diseases or damaged bone marrow in a patient with healthy bone marrow.

What are the Types of Bone Marrow Transplantation?

There are two basic types of bone marrow transplantation procedures. When bone marrow from a donor is used, it is known as allogeneic bone marrow transplant and when bone marrow for replacement is harvested from the patient’s own system, it is known as autologous bone marrow transplant. However, type of tissue of donors is required to match with the patient’s type as close as possible. Most often acute myeloid leukemia treatment patients who do not have suitable matched donors within the family look-out for matching donated umbilical cord blood units or unrelated bone marrow donors to serve their cause.

Where Does Bone Marrow for Transplant Come From?

These blood-forming stem cells usually come from the below mentioned three main sources.

  • Placenta from baby’s birth or blood in umbilical cord
  • Circulating (peripheral) blood
  • Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow Transplants are Ideal for Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients

Large number of cases for bone marrow transplants use cord blood units or unrelated bone marrow donors for acute myeloid leukemia treatment. Since chemotherapy doses which can be given are limited due to side effects which they cause and lead to life-threatening infections including bleeding. Doctors therefore use bone marrow transplant as an additional procedure to chemotherapy and radiation therapy to repair the damage done to bone marrow in the process. At completion of chemotherapy, blood-forming stem cells are commonly used to restore bone marrow.

Risks and Benefits of Bone Marrow Transplant

Successful bone marrow transplants generally help AML patients live longer and healthier lives. Bone marrow transplant for many patients offers the most ideal and only hope for cure. Risks for most patients involve complications or some long-term effects of bone marrow transplants in general which go away over time. While some of these are easy to manage, others can be difficult at times depending upon the unique conditions of individual patients. However, Graft Versus Host Disease or GVHD is a serious risk involving allogenic and reduced-intensity stem cell transplantation which is found to develop where donor’s immune cells attack normal tissue of the patient.

Recovery and Life Following Bone Marrow Transplant for AML Patients

AML patients’ blood cell counts will begin to improve following bone marrow transplants. Their immune system will also become stronger with time. Most patients will leave the hospital but will continue to receive outpatient care at the transplant center. It is however normal for them to feel weak for many months following bone marrow transplant. Moreover, risks of complications following BMT for AML are the highest for the first 100 days. Nevertheless, they will closely be monitored by the transplant team for infections and other associated problems. AML patients undergoing BMT should not hesitate to talk to doctors about any particular problems which may develop following transplant since conditions may change or progress over a period of time. The truth is that both, risk factors associated with BMT and the condition of the AML patient at the time of stem cell transplantation, tend to affect how well the patient would do after treatments. But then, most AML patients are found to feel better following bone marrow transplant.

Bone Marrow Transplant in India
Bone marrow transplant cost is unbelievably affordable and comes for just a fraction of what similar acute myeloid leukemia treatment would cost in developed countries like Canada and United States. Apart from the cost advantage, quality of bone marrow transplant in India is at par with the best in the world and is also available in internationally accredited hospital facilities without any waiting period. International patients seeking good quality affordable solutions beyond their homeland can therefore rely upon bone marrow transplant in India for timely acute myeloid leukemia treatments.