Acute Leukemia is treated with Allogenic stem cell transplant that involves the administration of chemotherapy with radiation therapy, and an infusion of a donor’s stem cell that helps in the formation of normal and new blood in the patient. When the patient’s bone marrow produces excessive abnormal white blood cells, the oncologist collects healthy stem cells from a donor and transplant into the patient’s bone marrow.
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Patients with acute myeloid leukemia are treated with Allogeneic stem cell transplant. Allogeneic SCT involves collecting a donor’s stem cells and transplanting the same in the patient’s bone marrow, whose natural stem cells got destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Stem cells in the bone marrow are multicellular organisms that help in the production of three types of blood cells- red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When stem cells start developing increased number of abnormal and immature cells, they suppress the production of normal blood, thus leading to anaemia or acute leukemia, etc. There are basically two types of stem cell transplants- allogeneic SCT and autologous SCT.
Although, high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be used for destroying cancerous cells, they may severely damage the bone marrow in the process. To make sure that chemotherapy is used without disrupting the normal production of blood, stem cell transplant is required.
In case of allogeneic acute leukaemia, a donor’s stem cells are matched with the recipient’s and then the collected donor’s stem cells are transplanted into the patient’s bone marrow. It should, however, be noted that the recipient’s and donor’s tissues should closely match to carry out the transplant.
The common symptoms of allogeneic acute leukaemia are skin itching, rashes, severe diarrhoea, mouth sores, yellowing of the eyes and skin, liver and lung damage, severe exhaustion, bone and joint pain, etc. Patients should refer to an oncologist immediately once the symptoms start showing.
The procedure of allogeneic acute leukemia stem cell transplant is done in a few steps. First, a donor is searched; stem cells are collected and then transfused into the patient’s bone marrow. Before the treatment of allogeneic stem cell transplant, there are few obligations to be met.
After the donor stem cells are collected, the leukaemia cancer patient is readied for the transplantation procedure.
After allogeneic stem cell transplant, doctors closely monitor the patient in the months to follow. A team of hematology oncologists collaborate with the patient to minimize the risk of complications arising after the procedure.
There are chances of having side effects of allogeneic stem cell transplant after the patient undergoes high doses of radiation and chemotherapy. Patients become vulnerable to infections and there is the chance of graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) where the donor’s cells attack your blood tissues. In that case, specific prescribed drugs help to cease the risk of GVHD.
Recovery of stem cell transplant varies from person to person. The patient’s physical conditions prior to the transplant, the severity of side effects they face are some of the reasons that impact the recovery time. Doctors, however, monitor the patients for blood counts and related side effects, if any. Ask your doctor when you can return to work and resume a normal life.
It takes almost a year for the immune system to return to normalcy and the bone marrow to produce adequate blood cells. This time of recovery may be longer for certain patients who are particularly on immune-suppressing drugs. Generally, after 1-2 years, most people are required to be immunized with vaccines.