Bone marrow transplantation involves the following steps:
i. Finding a suitable donor
The bone marrow is an organ, and any transplanted organ carries the risk of rejection. But consider this: When an organ is rejected, it is the immunity of the body that refuses its presence and considers it a foreigner, but what if the immunity system is the one being transplanted and considers the whole body as a foreigner? This is a possibility in bone marrow transplantation, and that’s why many tests are carried out to ensure the suitability of the donor.
The perfect donor is always the same person or an identical twin, followed by a first degree relative. You will likely hear the term “HLA matching”. This term is short for Human Leukocytic Antigen, and it is a system by which the body identifies its own cells, where it serves as an ID between cells of the body, and through HLA typing, we make sure that the body has a greater probability of accepting the marrow transplant.