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Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT)


Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is used to treat patients diagnosed with leukemia, aplastic anemia, lymphomas such as Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, immune deficiency disorders and some solid tumors such as breast and ovarian cancer.



In patients with leukemia, aplastic anemia, and some immune deficiency diseases, the stem cells in the bone marrow malfunction, producing an excessive number of defective or immature blood cells or low blood cell counts. The defective blood cells interfere with the production of normal blood cells, accumulate in the bloodstream and may invade other tissues. Large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation are required to destroy these abnormal stem cells and blood cells. These therapies, however, not only kill the abnormal cells but can destroy normal cells found in the bone marrow as well. Similarly, aggressive chemotherapy used to treat some lymphomas and other cancers can destroy healthy bone marrow. A bone marrow transplant enables physicians to treat these diseases with aggressive chemotherapy and/or radiation by allowing replacement of the diseased or damaged bone marrow after thechemotherapy/radiation treatment.



Bone marrow is a spongy tissue found inside bones that produce the body's blood cells. In a bone marrow transplant, the patient's diseased bone marrow is destroyed and healthy marrow is infused into the patient's blood-stream. If bone marrow from a donor is used, the transplant is called an allogeneic BMT. If it is from the patient himself then it is called an autologous BMT. In a successful transplant the new bone marrow begins producing normal blood cells .



It can take as long as a year for the new bone marrow to function normally. Most patients a­nd their quality of life improved after transplant.