Autologous bone marrow transplant

DEFINITION:

An autologous bone marrow transplant is carried out from the patient's own cells. This is usually carried out with neoplastic diseases when they do not affect the bone marrow or when it has been managed to eliminate the bone marrow disease. 

DESCRIPTION:

Hematopoietic progenitors can be obtained directly from the bone marrow in the operating theatre or, more frequently, from the peripheral blood by means of a machine (apheresis machine) which, connected to a vein, make the blood circulate by means of a circuit and a centrifuge it gradually separates the blood cells and, after selecting the cells that it needs to collect, it returns the rest to the patient.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE:

Before carrying out a hematopoietic progenitor cell transplant, it is necessary to administer a treatment called conditioning. Generally speaking, it consists of high doses of chemotherapy which may or may not be associated with radiotherapy and which is necessary to eradicate the disease it is wished to treat.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE:

Those patients who have been subjected to an autologous hematopoietic transplant must remain hospitalised under special conditions until the infused progenitor cells have regenerated and produce enough cells to replace those that have been destroyed by the treatment. This period depends on the type of transplant and conditioning treatment, but it usually takes between 2 and 4 weeks.

Patients must remain under medical supervision by the transplant team for a variable time period which depends on the patient's progress, varying between 4 – 6 months.