Stem Cell Transplant for Cancer Treatment
Cancer treatment has come a long way, and today, there are several options available for patients. One such treatment option is stem cell transplant, which is also known as bone marrow transplant. Stem cell transplant involves replacing the damaged bone marrow cells of a patient with healthy cells from a donor or the patient’s own cells.
Why is Stem Cell Transplant Used for Cancer Treatment?
- Stem cell transplant is often used to treat cancers of the blood or bone marrow, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
- It may also be used to treat other types of cancer, such as breast cancer or ovarian cancer, when high-dose chemotherapy or radiation is required.
Types of Stem Cell Transplant
There are two main types of stem cell transplant:
- Autologous stem cell transplant: involves using the patient’s own stem cells, which are collected and stored before high-dose chemotherapy or radiation
- Allogeneic stem cell transplant: involves using stem cells from a donor, which may be a family member or an unrelated donor.
Stem Cell Transplant for Cancer Treatment: What to Expect
Pre-transplant evaluation: Before the transplant, you will undergo a thorough evaluation to ensure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure. This may include tests to assess your overall health, blood tests, and imaging studies.
Conditioning: The conditioning phase involves preparing your body for the transplant. This may involve chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells and suppress your immune system. You may experience side effects during this phase, such as fatigue, nausea, and hair loss.
Stem cell infusion: The stem cell infusion is the actual transplant. The stem cells are delivered into your bloodstream through a vein, similar to a blood transfusion. The process typically takes a few hours.
Recovery: After the transplant, you will need to stay in the hospital for several weeks to allow your body to recover and to monitor for any complications. You may experience side effects during this time, such as fatigue, infections, and graft-versus-host disease (a condition where the transplanted cells attack your body’s own tissues).
Follow-up care: After you leave the hospital, you will need ongoing follow-up care to monitor your progress and to help manage any long-term side effects of the transplant.
It’s important to note that while stem cell transplant can be a very effective treatment for certain types of cancer, it’s not without risks. These risks can include infection, graft-versus-host disease, and damage to other organs. However, your healthcare team will closely monitor you during and after the transplant to help manage these potential complications.
Risks and Side Effects of Stem Cell Transplant
- Like any other medical procedure, stem cell transplant carries some risks and side effects.
- The most common side effects of stem cell transplant include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- In some cases, patients may develop infections or experience graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which occurs when the donor’s immune cells attack the patient’s healthy cells.
Stem Cell Transplant at MGM Cancer Institute
If you or a loved one is considering stem cell transplant for cancer treatment, it’s important to choose a hospital that has experience in performing the procedure. At MGM Cancer Institute, we offer a comprehensive range of services for cancer patients, including stem cell transplant. Our team of experts uses the latest technology and techniques to provide personalized care to each patient. We offer a range of services, including risk assessment, pre-transplant evaluation, transplant procedures, and post-transplant care.
Stem cell transplant is a powerful treatment option for cancer patients. It can help destroy cancer cells and restore the patient’s immune system. If you are considering stem cell transplant for cancer treatment, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Talk to your doctor or a specialist at MGM Cancer Institute to learn more about whether stem cell transplant is right for you. Speak with one of our specialists. Call us at +91 44 4251 5151 to schedule an appointment with us.
Dr M A Raja
Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology.
Director of Oncology Services Chairman, Medical Advisory Board