Stem Cell Transplant

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2023, 12:15

Chemotherapy, often known as radiation therapy, is given to the patient during a Stem Cell Transplant. This is done to harm or kill bone marrow. This is the initial step in the technique, referred to as conditioning.

A Stem Cell Transplant replaces the damaged bone marrow with healthy stem cells. The transplant can help restore blood count to normal levels in 2 to 6 weeks.

What is a Stem Cell Transplant?

  • They are referred to as the body's raw materials - they are the cells that give rise to all other cells with specialised tasks.
  • Stem cells divide to generate new cells, referred to as the daughter cells, under particular conditions in the body or the lab.
  • These daughter cells either self-renew or differentiate into specialised cells with a more specific role, such as heart muscle cells, brain cells, etc. and attain differentiation.
  • Apart from stem cells, there are no other cells in the body that has the potential to produce new cell types on their own.

Distinctions of Stem Cell Transplant

The stem cells are unspecialised and have the unique feature of renewing themselves with a simple process of cell division. This can be done even when the cells have remained inactive for quite some time.

Also, if put under a specific physiologic condition, they can turn to act like specific body cells like heart or lung cells. The stem cells are known to repair the gut and bone marrow as it frequently divides in these organs.

However, in the case of the heart and pancreas, they only divide under special conditions.

Stem Cell Transplant Treatment

Stem cell treatment, also known as regenerative medicine, uses stem cells or their derivatives to promote the repair response of sick, dysfunctional, or wounded tissue. After that, stem cells can be put into a human.

For example, a Mumbai infant boy was given 40 million stem cells, and his lungs gradually began to heal. In this case, doctors used mesenchymal stem-cell therapy (adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells) as an experimental treatment.

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Survival Rate of a Stem Cell Transplant

The survival rates for Stem Cell Transplants were positive in a study conducted by experts in the United States. The survival rates of patients who had blood Stem Cell Transplantation from related and unrelated donors increased dramatically.

Thousands of transplant patients with life-threatening blood malignancies were studied over 12 years. Patients with Myeloid Leukemia had a 94 per cent survival rate for linked transplants and an 86 per cent survival rate for unrelated transplants.

How Dangerous is Stem Cell Transplant?

Stem Cell Transplantation is associated with a slew of risks. Both alternatives, transplanting from one's cells and transplanting from donor cells, have risks. The following is a list of linked dangers.

  • Liver damage is a condition that affects the liver.
  • Tissue inflammatory response
  • Anaemia (Bleeding)
  • Hair loss has become a common problem.
  • Damage to the liver
  • Rashes

Stem Cell Transplant is a technology that has helped save thousands of patients worldwide. It is generally used in Chemotherapy or to replace any diseased cells from the body. Also, a transplant is needed if the body fails to produce its blood cells.

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FAQs on Stem Cell Transplant

Q1. What do patients receive in a Stem Cell Transplant?

The patient receives radiation known as Chemotherapy during the Stem Cell Transplant.

Q2. What happens in a Stem Cell Transplant?

In the case of a Stem Cell Transplant, the damaged bone marrow is replaced with healthy stem cells.

Q3. Is Stem Cell Transplant dangerous?

A Stem Cell Transplant can be pretty dangerous in a few cases.

Q4. What happens if the Stem Cell Transplant is done through Chemotherapy?

If the Stem Cell Transplant is done through Chemotherapy, the cancer cells are destroyed.