Lymphoma is a blood cancer that begins in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. It is sometimes called Hodgkin disease. Lymphoma usually starts in a lymph node at one or more places in the body, and is often first noticed in the neck. It can spread through the lymphatic system from one group of lymph nodes to another, and to other lymph tissue, particularly the spleen and bone marrow. When lymphocytes become damaged, they grow and multiply uncontrollably, causing enlarged lymph nodes.
The most important factor in planning treatment for lymphoma is the stage of the disease. If lymphoma comes back or doesn’t respond completely to initial treatment, you may need high doses of chemotherapy to help destroy the cancer cells. This can also damage the stem cells, and you may need a bone marrow/stem cell transplant to help restore the bone marrow and rebuild your immune system.
PREPARING FOR THE TRANSPLANT
There are two main types of stem cell transplants: Autologous transplant – when your stem cells are removed from your blood and later transplanted (reinfused) back into your body. Allogeneic transplant – when the stem cells are collected from another person (a donor). Type of transplant procedure depends on various factors which is checked through a detailed study of your cancer and its stage. Your test results, age and overall fitness are important factors in assessing whether you will be able to tolerate the high-dose chemotherapy.
AUTOLOGOUS BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT PROCEDURE
You will be given a dose of chemotherapy followed by a special growth factor drug called granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to stimulate the stem cell production. This process takes several days and is called mobilisation which involves regular blood tests to check whether there are enough blood cells in your blood. After the mobilisation, next you will be admitted in hospital to undergo procedure for collecting the stem cells. This is done by inserting a needle in the veins of both arms, blood is taken through one needle and is passed through a cell separator and stem cells are taken through white blood layer after which blood is returned to your body through the other needle. This process will go on for around 3-4 hours. Stem cells taken from your body is cryopreserved. You will have arresting period of one month before the next transplant process. A week before the transplant you will be put on a high dose chemotherapy to kill the lymphoma cells. This will also destroy the stem cells in the bone marrow. Before and after the chemotherapy is given, you will have fluids through a drip to prevent dehydration and kidney damage.
A day or so after high-dose chemotherapy, your frozen stem cells are thawed and put back into your body (reinfused) using a drip. This process is similar to a blood transfusion and takes about an hour.
After the stem cell transplant, you will be in hospital for about 1–4 weeks. Just after the transplant you may have stomach cramps and feel nauseous, which can be managed with medicines. You will be discharged from the hospital once your blood counts have returned to safe levels.
Your blood counts and general health will be monitored regularly by your doctor after the transplant. You may need occasional blood and platelet transfusions for a short period after the transplant. You may be given antibiotics to treat infections and will need to avoid contact with people with a cold, flu or other contagious infection. The healthy stem cells will travel via your bloodstream into your bone marrow, to restore the stem cells destroyed by the chemotherapy. This is called engraftment and takes about 10 –14 days.
Let EasyCure help you
Q: Is Bone Marrow Transplant a painful procedure?
A: Bone Marrow transplant is done under general anaesthesia or regional anaesthesia so there is no pain during the procedure although patients may experience discomfort and uneasiness after the transplant procedure which is usually managed through medications.
Q: What are the advantages of Autologous transplant?
A: Main advantages of autologous stem cell transplant includes: decrease risk of disease recurrence and/or curing aggressive component of the disease, produce a durable remission, avoid Graft versus Host disease.
Q: How long will I have to stay in the hospital post-transplant?
A: Generally you need a hospitalisation of around two to four weeks’ post-transplant, however, how long you stay in the hospital depends on: how much chemotherapy or radiation you received and the type of transplant.
Q: What are the potential risk after autologous bone marrow transplant?
A: Major risks post-transplant surgery includes: Regimen related toxicity and Infection during and following conditioning therapy until engraftment takes.
Q: Other than Lymphoma, what other disease can be treated through autologous bone marrow transplant?
A: Autologous transplants are used to treat a number of different cancers, including leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular cancer and neuro-blastoma, to name a few.
Free treatment estimates & treatment options
Free opinion from the doctor
Get assistance organizing your travel, stay & more
Get received by us in India & get treated
We ensure your comfortable stay in India & safe return