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A Donor's Powerful Role in Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant

Today, bone marrow transplant is a course of treatment that may be indicated for a number of conditions going beyond just that of the blood cancers that typically come to mind. In obtaining the replacement cells for the process of transplantation, there are a few viable sources of stem cells. A commonly used method is one of approaching a donor who will at least partially match your genetics. This Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant calls for special blood tests to determine a match, whether that is a brother or sister, a parent, your children, other relatives or people unrelated to you who can be found through the national bone marrow registries. Reasons Your Doctor May Recommend Bone Marrow Transplant Your doctor may make the recommendation for your Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant to replace bone marrow that has been ablated or destroyed as a result of chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Diseases, such as leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma are the result of bone marrow that is not working properly. Other diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, aplastic anemia, severe immunodeficiency syndromes, congenital neutropenia or thalassemia affect the production of bone marrow cells. All of the life giving, life protecting blood cells are generated from stem cells in the bone marrow. The science of bone marrow transplant in Mexico has reached a level of efficiency that is making these conditions treatable and curable. Collecting Donor Stem Cells There are two ways in which donor stem cells may be collected. Through a process of bone marrow harvest, a donor undergoes minor surgery after receiving anesthesia. In this way, there is no pain during the process of aspiration. Through two to three skin punctures, a special needle is used to withdraw stem cells and blood from the marrow cavity in each rear hipbone. These small aspirations retrieve only about five percent of a donors total marrow. Filtering separates the stem cells from bone matter and red blood cells. The red blood cells are then re-transfused into the donor. Through another method called leukapheresis, blood is simply removed from an intravenous line

placed in a vein. The donor receives chemical injections five days before apheresis to stimulate stem cells making them present in the blood stream. After filtering the material collected, the red blood cells are similarly re-transfused into the donor. Donors may feel bone pain or aching while the drug is working but this subsides once the drug regimen is ceased. The life-giving donation of stem cells to help save the lives of those in need of an allogeneic bone marrow transplant is one of the highest forms of altruistic giving available to us whether we know the recipient or not. The continuing discoveries related to stem cell research are making the remedy of bone marrow transplant a more powerful tool.