Leukemia results due to increased WBC-white blood cells crowding up the platelets and red blood cells-RBCs. It’s a blood cancer that results in WBCs which do not work right. Leukemia is identified by fatigue, bruising, chills, severe infections, headaches, joint pain, seizures, loss of weight, breath shortage, night sweats, and inflamed lymph nodes. Leukemia is treated in different ways. One of the methods is bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant for treating leukemia. This is called a Leukemia marrow transplant.
What is stem cell transplantation?
Stem cell transplantation involves high radiation or chemotherapy doses to treat destroy leukemia cells within the normal bone marrow. Post this process, the stem cells are transplanted through an intravenous-IV infusion. These infused stem cells get to the bone marrow and start generating new blood cells. These stem cells can be obtained from a potential compatible donor-allogenic or patient-autologous. These cells are obtained from the umbilical cord blood or bone marrow.
How does Leukamia occur?
The 3 blood cell types-RBCs which carry oxygen, WBCs that combat infection, and platelets that assist in a blood clot. Your bone marrow makes many new blood cells with the majority of them being RBCs. In leukemia, WBCs are generated in more numbers than required. The cells cannot combat infection as WBCs. They begin to impact the way your organs operate. With time, there are no sufficient RBCs for sufficient oxygen supply, WBCs to combat infection, and sufficient platelets for the blood to clot.
What does stem cell transplant do?
A stem cell transplant is a process where the harmful leukemia cells are present in your bone marrow. New stem cells are generated from a donor or body which grow into healthy and new blood cells.
Can a bone marrow transplant cure leukemia?
Bone-marrow transplantation is efficient in eliminating leukemia. This is because of the radiation and high drug doses that are administered before transplantation. Leukemia can be treated with a functioning and healthy bone marrow replacement. This way you regenerate an immune system that combats residual or existing leukemia not wiped out with radiation or chemotherapy with a transplant.
Stem cells generated from the patient-Auto transplant
Stem cells collection- A medication is injected to enhance your stem cells. The stem cells are collected from your chest or arm vein. They are stored as required.
Treatment before transplant- It takes 5-10 days. A high chemotherapy dose with some getting radiation therapy is a pre-treatment plan.
Acquiring stem cells- It’s around 30 mins process for every dose of infusion of stem cells. The stem cells are infused using a catheter into your bloodstream. You may need over one infusion.
Recovery-This phase is monitoring your recovery of cells and their growth. You may need antibiotics to minimize infection. Any side effects are treated and dealt with.
Stem cells from a donor-Allo transplant
Donor identification-A potential donor is identified for your HLA identical type through a blood test. They could be friends, family, or from a stem cell register.
The rest of the procedure is the same with the only difference, the stem cells are collected from the donor and self.
Leukemia is a bone cancer that generates more WBCs than usual crowding the RBCs. A leukemia marrow transplant infuses healthy stem cells obtained from bone marrow to make the system healthy.
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