As per NCI dictionary of cancer terms bone marrow transplant is a procedure in which a patient receives healthy blood-forming cells (stem cells) to replace their own stem cells that have been destroyed by disease or by the radiation or high doses of anticancer drugs that are given as part of the procedure. The healthy stem cells may come from the bone marrow of the patient or a donor. A bone marrow transplant may be autologous (using a patient’s own stem cells that were collected from the marrow and saved before treatment), allogeneic (using stem cells donated by someone who is not an identical twin), or syngeneic (using stem cells donated by an identical twin). Also called BMT.
In simple terms when bone marrow is damaged or distroyed by disease, infection or chemotherapy then it is replaced by new stem cells which travels to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote growth of new marrow.
Bone marrow is one of the most essential part of the body and creates following parts of the blood :
- red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body
- white blood cells, which fight infection
- platelets, which are responsible for the formation of clots
A bone marrow transplant replaces your damaged stem cells with healthy cells. This helps your body make enough white blood cells, platelets or red blood cells to avoid infections, bleeding disorders, or anemia.
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