Bone marrow is an important source of hematopoietic stem cells, a type of cell that can turn into other types of cells. For those with certain types of cancer, bone marrow stem cells may be used to help the body replace cancerous blood cells with healthy blood cells.
Understanding Hematopoietic Stem Cells
These immature cells are found in the spongy tissue found inside the bones and can differentiate to become healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. When they are infused into the blood, they divide to create healthy cells that help ward off cancer and mitigate the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
Functions of Bone Marrow Stem Cells
This type of stem cell transplants plays several important roles in fighting off cancer. Bone marrow stem cells can replace bone marrow cells that become diseased or damaged by the high doses of chemotherapy and radiation used in cancer treatment. In addition, the new stem cells created by these hematopoietic stem cells directly destroy cancerous cells in the blood and bone marrow. They also replace healthy blood cells needed to boost immunity, fight infection, carry oxygen, and prevent uncontrolled bleeding.
Diseases Treated with Stem Cell Transplantation
The conditions that have the potential to be successfully treated with bone marrow stem cell treatment include but are not limited to leukemia, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, immune deficiencies, and neuroblastoma.
Types of Stem Cell Transfers
If our doctor has determined that bone marrow stem cells should be part of your treatment regimen, you’ll either receive an infusion of your own bone marrow cells (autologous transplant) or those of a family member or unrelated donor (allogeneic transplant).
What to Expect
The bone marrow stem cells are processed to remove blood and bone fragments. The cells travel to the bone marrow and begin to produce new, healthy red and white blood cells and platelets within just weeks of the treatment.
Talk with our specialist if you think you may be a candidate for therapy with bone marrow stem cells via Stemgevity. Contact our office in San Clemente today to schedule your first appointment and learn more.