Bone Marrow Transplant
Researchers have made the life-saving infusions so safe that they say they could be used to treat numerous conditions.
Excitingly, a single treatment could provide a life-long cure.
The scientists said their technique could be the ‘holy grail’ of transplantation, ushering in ‘a whole new era in disease treatment’.
Life Saving Bone marrow infusion
Scientists have made life-saving bone marrow infusions so safe they could be used to re-set people’s immune systems, treating numerous conditions.
Around 1,5000 bone marrow transplants are carried out each year Globally.
Patients critically ill with leukaemia and other blood cancers are given radiotherapy or chemotherapy to wipe out their own diseased cells, before being given an infusion of healthy marrow.
But while they can be hugely successful, the transplants come with a host of side-effects and up to 20 per cent of patients die from complications.
As a result, bone marrow transplants are reserved for the most seriously ill.
Many of the problems are caused by the chemotherapy or radiotherapy that is used to wipe out the patient’s own bone marrow ahead of the transplant.
The Stanford University researchers have found a much safer way of eliminating the cells.
They’ve used two different antibodies to trick the body into attacking the diseased marrow and destroying it.
In experiments in mice, more than 99 per cent of the bone marrow cells were eliminated, The team then found a way of purifying the donated bone marrow, to make the transplant even safer.
They said: ‘If it works in humans like it did in mice, we would expect the risk of death would drop form 20 per cent to effectively zero.’
Study co-author Irving Weissmann said: ‘There is almost no category of disease or organ transplant that is not impacted by this research.
The bone marrow is the body’s blood cell ‘factory’ so transplants are usually used to treat blood cancers.
However, the marrow also makes most of the cells in the body’s immune system.
This means that any disease caused by a rogue immune response could potentially be cured by a one-off transplant.
Childhood diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases could be the treatment’s grasp.
The technology could also be exploited to make heart, lung and other organ transplants safer.
The safe treatment could help a myriad of diseases including type 1 diabetes, MS, cancer and organ transplantation (file photo)
Dr Shizuru recently described the work as ‘they most exciting thing I have done in my whole life.’
She added: ‘One important reason why I became a bone marrow transplanter was so that I could help cure autoimmune disease.
‘If we can make bone marrow transplants safer, that offers a potential way to cure autoimmune disease, including diabetes.’
Scientist Dr Aurore Saudemont, said: ‘Not only does it demonstrate better survival rates after a transplant but to herald a time where debilitating post-transplant side effects are reduced.
‘Such direct benefits to patients, for whom a transplant is often their last chance of life, could have a significant impact in this field. We look forward to seeing further results.’
75% to 90 % survival with a matched sibling donor and 40% to 65% with unrelated donors.
Is it dangerous to donate bone marrow?
The area from where the bone marrow is taken out might feel sore or numb for a few days. The donor might feel weak or tired and should avoid heavy workout or exertion for few days. As Anaesthesia is used the minor side effects could be felt for 3 to 4 days.
How long does it take for bone marrow transplant?
It could take 1 or 2 hours . however the donor would need a good rest of 24 hours. Some red blood cells are taken during the process. Medicine to induce sleep are given in some cases to get complete undisturbed sleep. The area around the hip will have bandages.
How many times can you donate bone marrow?
Marrow and stem cells are regenerated in the body so can be donated multiple times. however such occasions might not come in ones life. A match is difficult to find. Normally people prefer donor with close blood relations.
How can I increase my bone marrow?
Eat healthy foods, increase intake of fruits and Vegetables.
Regularly Perform Strength Training and Weight Exercises.
Add Zinc and Protein to your diet.
Get enough vitamin D through Sun and Diet, consume High-Calcium Foods
Consider Taking a Collagen Supplement.