The various facets of stem cell transplant

You will observe that there are numerous types of stem cell transplants and this would be from good sources of cells. The onus is between the doctor and the patient in order to embark on the correct choice of treatment.  Let us now explore the various types of stem cell transplants

Autologous stem cell transplant

During this type of transplant your stem cells are put to use. In case of multiple myeloma you will come across this type of transplant mainly. There are fewer chances of rejection as the donor cells go on to think them as foreign and then go on to attack them. The side effects are minimum and quicker engraftment does emerge at the same time. If you consider the pitfalls there are some cancer cells which may still remain. This is after you have been given chemotherapy or radiation as well. Let us now understand the working of this type of transplant

  • Here the stem cells are frozen , transplanted and then stored
  • Here you are going to be given conditioning treatment so as to kill the cancer cells. The chances are that some immature cells may be left behind in the bone marrow as well.
  • There is a possibility of the collection of stem cells being thawed and then it is given back on to you.

If the situation does call out for a double autologous transplant, the same process instead of once, you would need to repeat it a couple of times. There has to be a considerable break in terms of months.

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Allogeneic stem cell transplant

Here the stem cells of a donor are being used; it could be a volunteer or a relative. In case of the former he has to be registered with a relevant authority. You need to be aware that this happens to be less common than the autologous transplants. If the former fails you can resort to the use of this type of transplant as well.

The major advantage of this type of treatment is that the transplanted cells prove out to be cancer free. As the transplant goes on to develop an immune system even after the transplant the cancer killer does go on to take place. Though the major disadvantage is that the body may come across the transplanted cells as a foreign object and then go on to reject them.

The mode of working

  • The stem cells are generally taken out from the bone marrow or the peripheral stem cells which go on to match with that of the donor
  • Once the process of chemotherapy and radiation happens to be over, you are in a position to receive conditioning treatment. This would go on to destroy the cancer cells and weaken the immune system. It would mean that the immune system of the donor can take over at this point of time.
  • You will be in a position to receive transplants from the stem cells of the donor

The cost for stem cell treatment in India stands to be lowest in the world.