Acute leukemia is described as a medical condition characterized by the accumulation of immature white blood cells because of cancer of the blood and the bone marrow. Allogenic stem cell transplant for acute leukemia is recommended by doctors to suppress the cancer and help restore the patient’s immune system.
Stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia also involves administration of higher doses of chemotherapy, which is sometimes combined with radiation therapy. Once the treatment is over, the patients are administered an infusion of stem cells that help with the formation of new and normal blood as the function of the bone marrow is restored.
The patient’s own blood-forming stem cells may be used from the bone marrow for transplantation, while these stem cells are sometimes retrieved from a baby’s umbilical cord.
There are two types of transplants – allogeneic stem cell transplant and autologous stem cell transplant.
In case of allogeneic stem cell transplant, the healthy stem cells are collected from any other person other than the patient. However, the tissue type has to match closely with that of the patient’s. Then, the stem cells are transplanted in the patient’s bone marrow.
Autologous stem cell transplant, on the other hand, uses patient’s own stem cells. Before initiating chemotherapy and radiation therapy, some normal stem cells are retrieved from the body of the patient and are frozen and stored. Later, the stem cells are re-infused into the patient’s blood line for blood cancer treatment.
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