Stem Cells: The Best Bone Marrow Transplant

March 12, 2013 § 2 Comments

The best bone marrow transplant is still a topic under analysis. We know now that this type of transplant is a surgical procedure used to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. But what does it involve and how can we choose the method that is best in bone marrow transplant? Below you will find some pro’s and con’s.

Bone Marrow TransplantBefore embryonic stem cells, doctors were using hematopoietic – that is, blood-forming — stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells can restore all the cells types in the blood, used as treatment for diseases such as multiple myeloma or leukemia. They can come either from the marrow of a donor’s hip bone, or indirectly from the donor’s blood after a drug pushes the stem cells out of the bone marrow.

Most hematopoietic stem cell transplants use the indirect method of obtaining the stem cells. Yet there is not enough data to say for certain that one or the other method fits best for the best patient outcomes. A couple of years back, a study was released addressing this question.

The study found no significant difference. The overall survival rate was at two years, and no difference was found in the relapse rates but there was a higher rate of chronic GVHD with the use of blood stem cells. The disease is a difficult and sometimes deadly complication for this type of transplant. It involves damage for the recipient’s new immune system upon the liver, skin and digestive system. Apparently, this was an issue that made doctors opt for the first as the best bone marrow transplant.

The finding generated serious discussion among leaders in the transplant field about whether bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation is a better treatment option.

The study for the best bone marrow transplant options only enrolled patients with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute leukemia. It excluded patients with lymphoma or myeloma. Ages included children, adults up to 60.

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