Bone marrow transplant

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A bone marrow transplant is a procedure that infuses healthy blood-forming stem cells into your body to replace your damaged or diseased bone marrow. A bone marrow transplant is also called a stem cell transplant.

You might need a bone marrow if your bone marrow stops working and does not produce enough healthy blood cells.

Bone marrow may use cells from your own body (autologous transplant) or from a donor (allogeneic transplant).

What are the characteristics of myelofibrosis?

One characteristic of myelofibrosis is the overproduction of giant cells called megakaryocytes. Megakaryocytes normally release tiny fragments called platelets. Platelets play an important role in the formation of blood clots at the site of an injury.

When myelofibrosis occurs, the bone marrow produces too many megakaryocytes, accompanied by the release of proteins called cytokines. Cytokines are the same substances that make you feel ill when you have the flu. The cytokines in myelofibrosis cause inflammation and buildup of more fibrous tissue in the bone marrow.

Why it’s done

A bone marrow may be used to:

  • Safely allow treatment of your condition with high doses of chemotherapy or radiation by replacing or rescuing the bone marrow damaged by treatment
  • Replace diseased or damaged marrow with new stem cells
  • Provide new stem cells, which can help kill cancer cells directly

Bone marrow transplants can benefit people with a variety of both cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign) diseases, including:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bone marrow failure syndromes
  • Chronic leukemia
  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Plasma cell disorders
  • POEMS syndrome
  • Primary amyloidosis

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