Transplantation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells (Bone Marrow) Autologous in Leukemia and / or Lymphoma
Also known as autotransplantation, where your own stem cells are removed or obtained before you receive the cancer treatment that destroys them. The stem cells are extracted or collected, either from your bone marrow or your blood and then frozen. After you have received high doses of chemotherapy and / or radiation therapy, the stem cells will be thawed and refilled. It takes approximately 24 hours for the stem cells to reach the bone marrow. Then they start to grow, multiply and help the marrow to produce healthy blood cells again.
This type of transplant is used mainly to treat certain types of leukemia, lymphomas and multiple myeloma. It is sometimes used to treat other cancers such as: testicular cancer, neuroblastoma and certain cancers in children. The specialists and scientists are looking for ways to determine how to use autotransplantation to treat other diseases as well: systemic sclerosis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn's disease and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus).
Currently, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, that is, the use of the patient's own stem cells, after conditioning treatment with chemotherapy, is the most widely used therapy.
Advantages of autologous stem cells is that they are supplied with their own cells. You do not have to worry about new stem cells attacking your body or contracting a new infection from another person. However, there may still be a rejection, which means that the cells do not enter the bone marrow or produce blood cells as they should, so the transplant can not produce the desired effect against cancer.
A possible disadvantage of autotransplantation is that cancer cells can be collected along with the stem cells that are then returned to your body. Another disadvantage is that your immune system remains the same as it was before your transplant. This means that the cancer cells were able to escape the attack of their immune system and they may be able to do it once again.
To help prevent this, some medical centers treat the stem cells before they are returned to the patient to try to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. Another treatment to help eliminate the cancer cells that could be found in the returning stem cells is to administer anti-cancer drugs after the transplant. Stem cells are not treated. After the transplant, the patient receives an anticancer drug to eliminate cancer cells that may remain in the body. Research is currently under way on the need to eliminate cancer cells from transplants or transplant patients and the best way to do it.