Many blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma require injectable medicines to kill the cancer cells. These anti-cancer medicines are called chemotherapies and type of chemotherapy depends upon the type of cancer.
Some special medicines which are directed towards a particular molecule or cell and spare the other normal healthy cells is called immunotherapies. These are used in both benign and malignant diseases.
This is one of the most important and one of the most common tests done by hematologists. This test is required for the diagnosis of nearly all blood diseases like aplastic anemia, leukemia, myeloma, lymphomas, myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndrome. This is an OPD or day care based procedure and is done under local anesthesia. It is a safe procedure.
BMT also called SCT is used as a definite treatment for many hematological diseases. The principle of BMT is the replacement of damaged or cancerous bone marrow of the patient with the healthy marrow of the donor. There is usually no harm risk to the donor. Nowadays peripheral blood stem cells of donor can be taken just as platelet (SDP) donation. BMT/SCT is of two types – autologous BMT where donor is not needed like transplant for myeloma and lymphoma and allogeneic BMT where the donor is required like for acute leukemia, aplastic anemia and thalassemia.
The patient is given Inj GCSF for 4-5 days and then his stem cells are harvested in the blood bank. Patient is then given chemotherapy and the harvested stem cells are re-infused into the patients. The recovery takes 2-3 weeks after which the patient is discharged.
Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant
This is done for diseases like thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, Leukemia, MDS, PNH and many other diseases. It is a curative treatment for such diseases. Here the stem cells are taken from donor. The donor can be sibling, unrelated donor in world registry or half matched family donor. Therefore, the transplant can be called as MSD, MUD or haploidentical stem cell transplant. The patient needs to be admitted for 4-5 weeks in hospital and 6-8 weeks outside hospital. The common complications of allogeneic BMT include GVHD, Hepatic SOS, infections, etc. The patients need regular follow up.