Leukemia or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is one of such blood cancers which grows quickly. During this condition, the stem cells of the body get malfunctioned and they further do not perform their routine tasks of forming new blood cells. These damaged cells further multiply in numbers inside the spongy tissue region of the bones also known as bone marrow. This makes the body incapable to fight against any sort of infections and blood disorders and even cause excessive bleeding.
Some of the chemotherapeutic drugs are also known to help with AML. But these drugs also cause some side effects and even its high doses further impact the bone marrow hence causing a need for bone marrow transplantations in AML disease. Hence, bone marrow transplantations are the last resort to treat this disease of leukemia for now. Although, several kinds of research are still going on to increase the success rate of bone marrow transplantations especially in complicated cases.
A combination treatment of chemotherapy and high dose radiations followed by bone marrow transplant is normally followed by many doctors to treat AML disease from its root. During BMT the patient receives healthy blood-forming cell infusion which further regenerates the impaired system and helps in achieving good immune system as well.
What is the process of bone marrow transplantations in order to treat leukemia?
Bone marrow transplantations or hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation involve a series of steps. Its main goal is to replace the defective stem cells with healthy blood-forming stem cells in the body. It is done by infusing healthy cells in the body. The main source of these healthy stem cells is either bone marrow or umbilical cord or circulating blood in the body.
These stem cells can be obtained from the patient in an autologous BMT procedure or from a matching donor in an allogeneic BMT procedure. Your physician can take a call on this after analyzing your health condition, diagnosis, and past medical history.
How effective do bone marrow transplantations are in case of leukemia treatment?
Bone marrow transplantations are highly effective in treating leukemia especially in patients with the first remission of acute myelogenous leukemia or AML. The efficacy of the treatment also has a direct link with the pre-transplant chemotherapy and high dose radiations. Although, some research revealed few variations of relapses occurred post-transplant. Few of the dependent factors included twin-siblings or non-twin siblings, the presence of complications like graft-versus-host disease etc. The success rate and effectiveness of the bone marrow transplantations have its dependency mainly on the fact how matching the donor bone marrow is and then followed by the presence of any complications like of infection and rejection etc.
Related FAQs :
1) Q: Is there any particular type of leukemia which requires bone marrow transplantations?
A: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or any leukemia which requires chemotherapy might later require bone marrow transplantations. Because during high dose chemotherapy or radiation sessions involving the whole body causes defects in the bone marrow which requires a replacement with matching healthy one.
2) Q: Is there any specific recommended age group involving bone marrow transplantations for leukemia?
A: No, there is no such defined age group although health condition of the patient might play as a factor of eligibility. Even the elderly person or a child can undergo BMT. Allogenic transplant is a common procedure opted to treat AML condition.
3) Q: Can leukemia re-occur even after the procedure of bone marrow transplantations?
A: Yes, in some rare cases leukemia can re-occur with time. Then treatment options become limited due to factors like health condition, and age etc. your doctor will be the best person to discuss more on it as per your case.