The transplant team in our hospital will harvest the bone marrow (from your donor in allogeneic and syngeneic transplants, or from you in autologous transplant) under general anaesthesia.
- The bone marrow is collected using a needle inserted through the skin into the posterior space of the hip bone.
- It involves minimal risks and discomfort. Multiple punctures might be needed to collect enough cells for the transplant.
- The risks associated with the bone marrow harvest include infection, bleeding, or pain from the harvest sites, as well as risks associated with general anaesthesia.
Prior to the stem cells transplant, you will receive high doses of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or even both, in order to destroy all of your cancer cells as well as the normal blood cells in your bone marrow. This is known as the conditioning treatment.
- The conditioning treatment varies for every transplant as it depends on the type of cancer you have, the type of transplant you are receiving, and any previous cancer treatment you may have had before.
- The patient may feel the after effects of the therapy like vomiting and high fever.
- After the conditioning treatment is complete, the harvested stem cells are given to you through an IV catheter - this process is similar to a blood transfusion.