Stem Cell Transplantation - Overview

A stem cell transplant replaces stem cells. It is a procedure that is performed for certain types of cancer or in the cases when the bone marrow stops working and can’t produce enough healthy cells. A Stem transplant is also referred as bone marrow transplant which is used when stem cells or bone marrow have been damaged or destroyed by disease, including some types of cancer, or by using high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat the cancer. The procedure involves replacing the unhealthy blood-forming cells with the healthy cells (called stem cells) in the body. Stem transplantation is of two types – one that involves using your own healthy cells (autologous transplant) and the other that involves using cells from a donor (allogeneic stem cell transplant). To remove blood cancer in the marrow and then restoring normal blood cell production doctors often use large doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Stem Cell Transplantation - Symptoms

Stem cell transplantation provides you with the opportunity to safely opt for heavy chemo and radiation and thus, gives you a better chance of fighting cancer. It helps to generate healthy cells (new stem cells) in the body that can help in destroying the cancer cells directly. The procedure also helps in treating cancerous and noncancerous diseases including:

  • Bone marrow failure syndrome
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Multiple myelomas
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Primary amyloidosis
  • POEMS syndrome
  • Chronic and severe leukaemia
  • Plasma cell disorders
  • Immunity deficiency

Stem Cell Transplantation - Pre-Procedure

Your doctor will conduct a series of tests over a few days before you undergo stem cell transplantation to check if you are physically fit for the cell transplantation or not. Your doctor will insert a long thin tube from your neck or chest into a large vein in the body to infuse the transplanted stem cells and other blood products and medicines into your body. Once this pre-transplantation process and tests are completed, the next step is the ‘conditioning regimen’ process in which the patient will undergo chemotherapy and radiation in order to:

  • Make your bone marrow prepared for new stem cells
  • Remove any disease that might remain at the time of the transplantation
  • Check your immune system Depending on the condition you’re being treated for, you might have to undergo both chemotherapy and radiation or any one of them.
  • Remove the cancerous cells

The patient might feel following ill effects after the conditioning process:

  • Infection in the body
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulcers
  • Infertility
  • Cataract
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constant fatigue

Stem Cell Transplantation - During Procedure

The treatment for stem cell transplantation is performed once the conditioning is finished. This treatment doesn’t require anesthesia and the patient is kept awake. The procedure is begins when the Donor’s stem cells are transferred to the patient’s body by infusion using a thin tube inserted before. Once the cells are transplanted into the patient’s body, they start producing new blood cells in a process called engraftment which further helps in recovering the blood count of the body. The blood cells contain a preservative called dimethyl sulfoxide that helps in guarding the cells. The patient might also be given some medications in order to reduce the adverse effects of this preservative. Some of the common symptoms you may feel after the transplantation may include fever and chills, nausea, hives, diarrhea, and red urine.

Stem Cell Transplantation - Post-Procedure

Once the treatment is finished the patient is be kept under observation and the doctor continuously monitor their health. The patient might also have to stay longer in the hospital if there is any complication or infection. Before leaving the hospital, the doctor make sure that the patient is able to eat food and drinks without any difficulty, and there are no ill effects like fever, vomiting or diarrhea and body have safe levels of blood counts. The patient may recover anywhere between 30 to 100 days after the transplant, depending on the prevalent condition and overall health.

Stem Cell Transplantation - Risk & Complications

There might be a certain set of risks and complications associated with stem cell transplantation that you will be already explained before beginning the procedure by your doctor. Some of the very common risks include:

  • Infertility
  • Infection in the body
  • Development of new cancer cells
  • Stem cell failure

If you’re looking forward to undergo a stem cell treatment in India and considering traveling to India you can be assured of state-of-the-art medical care and advanced treatment technologies present here. India has now become one of the preferred destinations for medical tourism as the cost is relatively low as compared to the western countries but the treatment quality is substantially high. Usually, the treatment’s approximate Cost is $6000 Duration: 30 – 45 Days. If you need any further information regarding this procedure, please feel free to contact us.

Stem Cell Transplantation - Doctors

  • Dr. Arun Saroha

    Dr. Arun Saroha

    Head of Department , MBBS, MS, MCh

    Neurosurgeon

    19 years of experience

  • Dr. Arun Mukherjee

    Dr. Arun Mukherjee

    MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine AllopathInternal Medicine

    Internal Medicine

    49 Years Experience

  • Dr. Sachin Kandhari

    Dr. Sachin Kandhari

    Director , DNB, MBBS

    Neurosurgeon

    16 Years of Experience

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