Stem Cell Transplantation

Stem Cell Transplantation is one of the innovative treatments offered at Apollo Hospitals. This facility is provided by Apollo Hospitals Ahmedabad and has shown steady growth since inception.

What is Stem Cell Transplantation?

Stem Cell Transplantation is an exciting area of medicine. It is a well established treatment for several cancers and diseases of blood since the last few decades.


» Autologous Transplant (Stem Cells collected from one's own body)

  • Hodgkin's & Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: For relapsed / refractory cases, it is standard therapy and in most such cases, it is the only curative option.
  • Myeloma: Although not curative, it is standard treatment as a part of initial therapy, as it prolongs survival substantially.
  • Leukemia: Acute Myeloid Leukemia as part of consolidation therapy, to increase chance of cure in this disease.

» Allogenic Transplant (Stem Cells collected from some one else's body)

  • Thalassemia
  • Several other genetic disorders, especially with single gene defects
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
  • High Risk AML & Relapsed AML
  • Relapsed ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia)
  • As an option in several advanced or refractory haematological malignancies eg. follicular lymphoma, CLL, myeloma etc

What the procedure achieves

The procedure serves mainly 3 purposes-

  1. Replacing a missing gene e.g. in Thalassemia, Sickle cell disease and many genetic disorders. These are diseases where the person is otherwise normal, except for one missing gene, and replacing that gene is curative.
  2. Allows use of high doses of anticancer therapies, which may lead to loss of bone marrow. Without stem cells support, marrow will recover only after a long time, resulting in high complication rate from infections or bleeding. Infused stem cells provide early recovery of blood cells. It considerably lowers the risk of low blood counts due to marrow suppression. Thus it is one form of "Supportive Therapy" and not a treatment of cancer by itself. This is the case in Autologous (self) transplant and in majority of Allogeneic transplants.
  3. Some "Graft versus Disease activity", more commonly known as "Graft v Leukemia effect", in Allogeneic transplant, especially evident in chronic myeloid leukemia.

Sources of stem cells

  1. Sources of Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Bone Marrow is the tissue that is found inside our bones. It is a spongy texture and is rich in stem cells. Bone marrow is collected from the iliac crest (hip bone) in the operating room.
  2. Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) Stem cells are collected from the circulating blood stream using a process called apheresis.
  3. Umbilical Cord Blood The cord of new born babies is a rich source of stem cells.
  4. Cell Collection Procedure.

Process of Transplant - How is it done ?

What are Stem Cells?

Blood cells grow in the same way as other human cells. They develop in the bone marrow from a parent cell known as "stem cell". These stem cells begin to divide and mature until they are fully developed, forming all the different types of blood cells : white cells, platelets and red blood cells. Stem cells are usually found inside the bone marrow spaces of large bones, however, they can also travel from bone to bone to other by way of blood system. A very small percentage of the white blood cells circulating through our veins are stem cells.

There is no surgery involved in Transplant, for the patient or donor. It is very safe procedure for a donor. Nothing is lost permanently in the body e.g. as in kidney Transplant. Stem cells regenerate in few days. For the same reason there are over 1 crore (10 million) volunteer donors for stem cell transplant in USA. Stem Cells are infused into the patient through a live Blood Transfusion.

Types of Transplant

The Stem Cells can be collected from patient's own body or can be harvested from another person. This other person is known as donor.

Autologous transplant

Stem cells are taken from the patient either by bone marrow harvest or apheresis (peripheral blood stem cells) and then given back to the patient after conditioning treatment.

Allogeneic transplant

The donor has the same HLA type as the patient. Stem cells are taken either by bone marrow harvest or apheresis (peripheral blood stem cells) from a HLA matched donor, usually a brother or sister. Other donors for allogeneic bone marrow transplants include the following:

  • An identical twin - A syngeneic transplant is an allogeneic transplant from an identical twin. Identical twins are considered a complete genetic match for a transplant.
  • Unrelated transplants (UBMT or MUD, for matched unrelated donor) - The HLA matched stem cells are from an unrelated donor, usually found through the national registries.
  • Umbilical Cord Blood transplant - Stem cells are taken from an umbilical cord immediately after delivery of an infant. The stem cells are tested, typed, counted and frozen until they are ready to be transplanted.

Stem cell transplant is an exciting area of medicine. It is a well established treatment for several cancers and diseases of blood, for the past few decades.


Dr. Chirag Shah, Director , Dept of Hematology, Oncology and Stem cell transplants, Apollo International Hospitals, Ahmedabad, has done the first successful Autologous Stem Cell Transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Gujarat and first Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant for Leukemia in private sector of Gujarat. He has also performed maximum number of transplants in private sector of Gujarat, at Apollo Hospitals/CBCC, Ahmedabad. Read more ....

For Further information, please contact:

Ms. Khyati Panchal
Service Line Manager,
Mobile: +91 7698815041

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