Your bone marrow like your blood contains stem cells; in fact most of the time the stem cells in your blood is actually from your bone marrow. The stem cells in the bone marrow are thus transformed into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. All these components help to keep your body healthy and lets you body fight any ailment that you may be suffering from.
Sometimes when your bone marrow is attacked by a disease, it cannot create stem cells and thus fail to circulate them in the blood. At that time, healthy stem cells are introduced in your bone marrow with the help of an IV and that is called stem cell treatment. When these new stem cells are part of your own body, then it becomes Autologous stem cell treatment.
Who Needs it?
- Anyone suffering from diseases like leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, aplastic anemia and multiple myeloma need this treatment as these diseases damage some parts of the bone marrow and stop the production of stem cells.
- Sometimes if you are being treated for some disease that requires radiation, then the stem cells in the bone marrow get damaged. This can happen in case of chemotherapy. That is when you may need autologous stem cell treatment.
- Some people are resorting to this mode of treatment in cases of Thalassemia, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and sickle cell disease.
- The first step is to collect the healthy stem cells. The process is called apheresis. Since the bone marrow is affected, the healthy stem cells are collected from the blood. A stimulant is used to enhance the growth of new stem cells in the blood and that is when the samples are taken and used in the treatment.
- In most cases if you are going for chemotherapy or some sort of radiation then your blood is stored before these therapies start. Thus in case you need the autologous stem cell treatment, you have healthy stem cells at your disposal.
- The surgeons will insert a central venous catheter into your chest and through that transmit the blood with healthy stem cells into your body. This blood will spread in your blood stream and also into your bone marrow. You bone marrow will produce new stem cells within 21 days.
After your treatment you may be kept in isolation and treated with antibiotics to save your body from any disease attack.
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