Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Facts

1. STEM CELL OVERVIEW

Stem Cells are primitive cells that are found in animals and humans.They have the capacity to:

  • 1. Become another type of cell with a more specialized function such as a blood cell, muscle or nerve cell; or
  • 2. Remain in their current stem cell state and replicate

BONE MARROW

Bone marrow stem cells are obtained from the bone marrow of human bones, usually the pelvic bone. These cells have the capacity to become other specialized cells and or tissues.

ADVANTAGES

bullets Proven ability to differentiate

    into various cell types and tissues

bullets Greatest amount of historical data,

    36 years of clinical experience

bullets Autologous and allogeneic transplants     possible

bullets Faster engraftment time than cord blood

bullets More stem cells available for one treatment

DISADVANTAGES

bullets Painful and complex harvesting procedures    from the donor’s bone marrow

bullets Requires an exact tissue match between the    donor and recipient

bullets Delay often exists between establishing a need    for treatment and the time the treatment can be    done while a suitable donor is found and cells    are extracted – sick patient can become more    sick during this time

bullets Must be used fresh in most cases

bullets Increased potential for graft vs host disease    (rejection) – Donor and recipient must have an    exact HLA antigen match; otherwise, the

   recipient will reject the transplant and will die