What is an autologous bone marrow transplant for lymphoma?An Autologous Bone Marrow transplant for lymphoma uses healthy blood stem cells from the patient’s body to replace the diseased or damaged bone marrow. Using cells from the body during the stem cell transplant offers some advantages over stem cells from a donor. For example, the patient need not worry about incompatibility between the donor’s cells and the own cells if the patient has an autologous stem cell transplant. An autologous Bone Marrow Transplant might be an option if the body produces enough healthy bone marrow cells. Those cells can be collected, frozen, and stored for later use. An autologous bone marrow transplant is also called an autologous stem cell transplant. Picture Courtesy: Lymphoma
Why is this procedure done?An autologous stem cell transplant can be used to replace damaged bone marrow. It is most commonly used to treat conditions such as: An autologous bone marrow transplant can also be used to treat other conditions such as:
What does an autologous stem cell transplant for lymphoma involve?Picture Courtesy: Clevelandclinic Before the collection procedure Once the patient is diagnosed with Lymphoma, the doctor examines the patient thoroughly, and the patient is advised to undergo a couple of blood tests before the procedure. Once the patient is fit for the procedure, the doctor councils the patient thoroughly regarding the pros and cons of the procedure and their associated risk factors. Before the procedure, the doctor will advise a few medications to the patient to improve and increase the number of stem cells in the blood . During the collection procedure A needle is inserted into the patient’s vein for stem cell collection to collect blood. This procedure is called harvesting stem cells. The collected blood is passed through a machine where stem cells are separated from the rest of the blood components. The remaining components of the blood are transferred back to the body. Preparing for a transplant Once the stem cells have been collected from the patient, the patient has to go through a process called a preparative regimen. The patient has to undergo chemotherapy along with or without radiation therapy to kill the cancer cells. Transplantation procedure At the time of the procedure, the patient will receive the stem cells back into the bloodstream by IV (Intravenous) infusion. The stem cell transplant procedure is the same as the blood transfusion procedure. The new stem cells will start to circulate into the blood system over the next few weeks. The new blood cells generally start to form in about 1 to 3 weeks . After the procedure In the post-transplant procedure, the patient is advised to stay in the hospital for 2-3 weeks. The doctor will monitor the patient closely. The patient is advised to take antibiotics to prevent infections. The patient might also receive a blood or platelet transfusion while waiting for the bone marrow to recover completely.
1. How long will the patient take to recover after the procedure?
The patient will take about 6-8 weeks to get back to work. At the same time, the patient might require about 6-8 months to recover completely and get back to regular activity .
2. What side effects can an autologous stem-cell transplant have?
The side effects of the autologous stem cell transplant are listed below:
- Vomiting, nausea
- Fever, chills
- Rapid breathing
- Low blood pressure
- A failed transplant
- Chances of cancer cells being put back into the body
3. What are the benefits of autologous stem cell transplant?
The benefits of autologous stem cell transplant are listed below:
- A successful transplant helps the patient become cancer-free or delays cancer progression.
- The chances of rejection are very low since it is an autologous bone marrow transplant.
- The major goal is to restore the body’s ability to produce normal red blood cells after high-dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- They do not carry graft-versus-host disease.
4. What are the risks associated with an autologous stem cell transplant?
The risk factors associated with an autologous stem cell transplant are:
- Dizziness or tingling sensation of the hands and legs
- Bone pain with growth factor for mobilization
- Side effects associated with chemotherapy such as vomiting, pain, and fatigue.
- Bruising easily and excessive bleeding.
- Lung infections such as pneumonia.