Bone Marrow Transplant Second Opinion
Bone marrow transplantation (also known as stem cell transplantation) involves harvesting healthy stem cells to replenish the bone marrow of the patient. The new stem cells take over the production of the blood cells.
In some circumstances, it may be possible to take your own bone marrow from another part of your body (this is known as autologous transplantation). The bone marrow may be cleared of any diseased cells before being returned.
Who requires BMT?
There are certain conditions for which BMT is recommended.
- Malignant conditions:
- Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
- Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
- Multiple Myeloma
- Germ cell tumors
- Other rare cancers of childhood
- Non Cancerous Conditions:
- sickle cell anemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Fanconi anemia and other bone marrow failure syndromes
- Inborn errors of metabolism
- Congenital Immunodeficiency syndromes
Different Types of BMT
There are two basic types of transplants, allogeneic and autologous, depending on who donates the bone marrow or stem cells.
- Allogeneic BMT: Donor and Recipient are two separate individuals and transplant is done using the stem cells of donor. It may be:
- Matched Related, where donor is HLA matched relative usually a sibling.
- Matched Unrelated, where donor is not a relative of patient and usually found from one of the various national or international registries.
- Partially Matched Related, where donor is from a patient’s family but partially matched (haploidentocal)
- Cord blood from a cord blood registry
- Autologous BMT: Donor and Recipient are same individuals, where transplant is done using patient’s own stem cells. The procedure involves giving high dose chemotherapy to patient in order to remove primary disease. Thereafter, an autologous transplant is conducted to rescue damaged bone marrow. This type of transplant has minimal complication and is preferred for diseases like multiple myeloma/lymphoma.
Reasons to consider a second opinion
Maybe the diagnosis is not something you expected, and you just want someone else to say the same words as a second check. Sometimes patients like to hear different opinions on what the next steps in their treatment would be so they can make the most informed decision. Whatever the reason, the decision is yours, and it’s perfectly normal to want to seek a second opinion.
You are in charge of the decisions that are made regarding your health. You owe it to yourself to feel comfortable with your decisions.
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