We often believe that there is a big difference between bone marrow transplant and stem cell therapy. However, if you look at it from close quarters and identify the differences, you can be sure that there are quite a few things similar between the two. In fact the only real distinction is the way in which the stem cells are collected. We need to bear in mind that stem cells are versatile and they have the ability to develop and divide and form into different types of cells. On the one hand hematopoietic stem cells have the capacity to produce red blood cells. These cells are oxygen-rich and deliver this life saving nutrients to various parts of the body. On the other hand, stem cells also have the capacity to produce white blood cells and as we all know, WBC play a big role in keeping our body healthy and ward off infections. Stem cells also produce platelets and these are needed for helping blood to clot and help in wound-healing process.
Where Are They Found
It would be pertinent to mention that hematopoietic stem cells are available in the bone marrow. This is a spongy material inside the bones. Hematopoietic stem cells move from the marrow and into the bloodstream. When such movement happens and when they are found in the bloodstream they are referred to as peripheral blood stem cells.
Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy
We need to understand that both radiation therapy and chemotherapy are extremely critical for treatment of various types of cancers. However, these high dose treatments can severely damaged and weaken the healthy stem cells. In such situations stem cells perhaps can help better in getting the patient back on his or her feet when compared to bone marrow transplant.
What Is The Basic Difference
As mentioned above, both and bone marrow transplant are the same in terms of the final objectives and results. Stem cell transplantation or stem cell therapy is the name given to a procedure where the cells are taken from the umbilical cord of the new born baby or also from adults. On the other hand when we talk about bone marrow transplant, healthy stem cells of the donor are transplanted into the bone marrow of patients who are suffering from cancer and other forms of illness. This process is done by injecting the stem cells into the bone marrow of the individuals through the spinal cord. It is a relatively simply process but it might take a few days to complete it.
The Risks And Benefits
There are risks as well as benefits associated with stem cell as well as bone marrow transplant. The biggest risk is rejection. Both these cell transplants are subject to the fear of rejection and when this happens it has to be managed effectively. In fact umbilical stem cells are prone to more rejection when compared to bone marrow transplants. Further, both these forms of transplants and therapies could also lead to other side effects like infections and even development of new types and forms of cancer. Therefore the risks versus benefits of both the options must be weighed carefully before taking a decision.
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