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    Autologous Transplant
    Banner - Cancer Institute Apollo Hospital - Bangalore

    Autologous Transplant in Bangalore

    An autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) replaces diseased or damaged bone marrow with healthy hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for generating blood cells, derived from the patient’s own body instead of stem cells from a donor. Another type of autologous stem cell transplant is an autologous bone marrow transplant. In this procedure, the patient’s stem cells are collected before a conditioning regimen and then reintroduced to the patient. These stem cells find their way to the marrow spaces of the patient and restore bone marrow function.

    Why do you need an Autologous Transplant?

    After chemotherapy or radiation is used to eliminate cancer cells, an autologous stem cell transplant is performed to replace the destroyed bone marrow. These treatments unintentionally destroy healthy cells as well. An autologous stem cell transplant replenishes the body with fresh blood cells essential for survival. Patients may require an autologous transplant if they have any of the conditions listed below:

    • Multiple Myeloma
    • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    • Neuroblastoma
    • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
    • Germ-Cell Tumour
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Scleroderma

    How does Autologous Transplant work?

    After completing chemotherapy (and, if necessary, radiation therapy), patients are ready for an autologous transplant. Unlike other types of transplants, it does not require surgery. Instead, healthcare personnel use an intravenous catheter to transfer the stem cells.

    The stem cells travel through the bloodstream to the bone marrow, where they generate new blood cells to replace the dysfunctional ones. The process of engraftment can take several weeks. To expedite the procedure, patients may receive growth factor injections. Patients will remain hospitalised until their blood cell counts return to normal.

    What are the Types of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant?

    Stem cells can be obtained through two methods: peripheral blood or bone marrow. Both autologous bone marrow transplant and autologous stem cell transplant share the same treatment goal, which is to restore the loss of healthy blood cells with newly transplanted stem cells. These new stem cells are responsible for producing all types of blood cells in the body, including red blood cells, platelets (clotting cells), and white blood cells. However, the main distinction between the two techniques lies in how the stem cells are extracted.

    During an autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplant by a Medical Oncologist in Bangalore, healthy stem cells are extracted from the blood using a technique called apheresis. On the other hand, an autologous bone marrow transplant involves extracting stem cells from the bone marrow through a procedure known as bone marrow aspiration. This procedure entails inserting a long needle into the spongy tissue of the bone marrow, which is located in the centre of certain bones.

    Bone marrow harvesting is less frequent compared to peripheral blood stem cell collection. It is sometimes preferred because the concentration of stem cells in the bone marrow is significantly higher than the number of stem cells circulating in the bloodstream.

    Another type of autologous stem cell transplant is the double autologous or tandem transplant. This involves undergoing two stem cell transplant surgeries within six months of each other. Prior to the initial high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatment, healthy stem cells are harvested and stored. These stored stem cells are then reintroduced after each course of chemotherapy. Tandem autologous stem cell transplants are commonly used to treat multiple myeloma or advanced testicular cancer. However, further studies on double stem cell transplants are currently underway.

    What happens during the Process?

    At Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka, a proper diagnosis is conducted by the Best Oncologist in Bangalore, before the surgery to evaluate the condition and rule out any other ailments. The actual stem cell transplant surgery will be scheduled one to three days after the final dose of chemotherapy (or at any time after the last radiation treatment). The transplant operation is similar to a blood transfusion and is usually painless. Here’s what happens during an autologous transplant:

    • The treatment will take about 45 minutes and will be conducted in a hospital room, depending on the volume of cells to be administered. Bone marrow transplants can take several hours or more.
    • The stem cells will be administered via a central line (a catheter inserted into a large vein to allow for numerous procedures such as blood draw and intravenous fluid and drug infusion).
    • The nurse will monitor the patient’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and breathing rate, looking for any abnormalities.
    • The recipient of an autologous stem cell transplant remains conscious throughout the process and can usually return home once it is finished (assuming no difficulties or adverse reactions).

    What are the risks of Autologous Transplant?

    Like any other procedure, autologous transplants also carry some risks. Some of them are as follows:

    • Pain in the bones due to the use of growth factors for mobilisation.
    • Dizziness or tingling in the hands or feet during apheresis.
    • Side effects of chemotherapy, including discomfort, tiredness, and nausea.
    • Excessive bleeding and bruising. Many recipients of autologous stem cell transplants may require blood or platelet transfusions.
    • Infections and other diseases may occur before engraftment.
    • Lung problems, such as inflammation and pneumonia.

    Treatments at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka

    An autologous stem cell transplant involves replacing damaged or diseased cells with an individual’s own stem cells. This procedure carries numerous hazards, and the recovery process can take several months. However, transplants can aid certain patients in achieving remission or slowing down the progression of cancer. The decision to undergo a stem cell transplant is entirely yours. At Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka, known as Best Medical Oncology Hospital in Bangalore, we thoroughly discuss the risks and benefits associated with your particular situation and assist you in making the best decision for your well-being.

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