Autologous and Allogeneic Transplant | Stem Cell Transplant

Bone marrow transplantation risks

Although bone marrow transplantation is sometimes the only available option, risks have to be considered and patients informed about the known complications of marrow transplantation. The most common problems include:

  • Severe infections: Patients during the immunodeficiency phase have a nonexistent immune system and could easily develop severe infections. Most of these infections are not even possible in healthy individuals; they are so-called opportunistic infections. The sources of infections are various, but the most serious of which are the hospital-acquired ones since they are resistant to antibiotics and are therefore difficult to treat. Infections remain the most common causes of death following bone marrow transplantation.
  • Cancers: Although bone marrow cancer may be an indication of bone marrow transplantation, other cancers may develop from the radiation used for destroying the old marrow.
  • Graft versus host disease: This is a rejection process of the newly transplanted marrow. As mentioned above, here the marrow rejects the whole body rather than vice versa which necessitates immunosuppressive therapy and could cause severe immunodeficiency.