Why would someone need bone marrow transplantation?
Bone marrow transplantation is resorted to in the following conditions:
- Hereditary diseases when either red cell production or immunity are severely impaired.
- Some red cell disorders such as Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Here, the bone marrow does produce enough red cells, but they are deformed and unable to carry out their function. Bone marrow transplantation is a tailored therapy according to the patient’s condition and age.
- Acquired immunodeficiency disorders, especially AIDS.
- Malignancy and premalignant conditions of the bone marrow. Leukemias are the main malignant conditions in need of bone marrow transplantation. In most cases, it is the only hope for a cure, but because of its risks, it can be second-line therapies after chemotherapy especially in older patients and those with good responses to initial chemotherapy.
- Bone marrow failure and aplastic anemia. These conditions are very diverse but they generally result from the bone marrow unable to provide enough blood cells to maintain body needs. They can result from a simple viral infection that produced a complication, radiation, drugs, chemotherapy or cancer.