The treatment of certain cancers may go through a bone marrow transplant, or more accurately a stem cell transplant contained in the bone marrow. This approach is used in particular in patients with leukemias or lymphomas.
What is the principle of this treatment?
Blood cells (red cells, white cells and platelets) are made in the bone marrow from stem cells. The treatment of some cancers of the blood through the destruction of all such cells, and the reconstruction of a healthy bone marrow which produce healthy blood cells. This is where the graft.
Bone marrow transplant in practice
In practice, this therapeutic approach is carried out in two separate steps: in the first, the patient's bone marrow destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to eliminate tumor cells. The patient then finds herself momentarily devoid of immune system. Personnel must be protected from infection, and it is why it is placed in a sterile room.
During the second stage of treatment, the patient receives a stem cell transplant that will quickly restore the destroyed marrow. The graft may be a marrow sample previously taken to the patient. There is talk of autograft. This option is only possible if the cancer does not touch the bone marrow cells. The patient may also receive the marrow from a donor (allograft) or umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells from cord blood bank.
Become a bone marrow donor
According to the Agency of Biomedicine, "Bone marrow transplant is only possible between a patient and a donor whose biological characteristics are as close as possible. When the patient does not have a donor among his brothers and sisters, the doctor uses the records to find a compatible donor. This compatibility is rare: one in a million chance between 2 random people. But that opportunity exists and can save a sick ".
To become a marrow donor, you must register on the National Register marrow transplant. For this, it must be over 18 and under 51, be perfectly healthy and answer a medical interview about his medical history and lifestyle.
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