stem cell transplant: fast facts

What are stem cells?    

Stem cells are the basic building blocks of life, the basic cell from which our bodies are made. They are formed at conception and specialized to become all the different tissues of the body: muscle, nerve, organs, bone, blood and so on.

When do we use our body’s stem cells?

We tap into our body’s stem cell reserve to repair and replace injured or diseased tissue. Unfortunately our reserve is finite and as it becomes depleted, the regenerative power of our body decreases and we succumb to diseases, disorder and the ravages of aging.

What is stem cell transplant?

A stem cell transplant is the infusion of healthy cells to replace diseased or damaged ones.

How important is stem cell transplant to leukemia patients?

Cancer, particularly leukemia, is an important disease for stem cell transplants; bone and peripheral blood stem cell transplants have been used for decades. A patient receives chemotherapy or radiation treatment to destroy the cancer cells but unfortunately, healthy cells are also damaged. A stem cell transplant can replace the lost and damaged cells with fresh, functioning ones, which can then provide the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that are important to metabolism, clotting and immunity. The other benefit of this treatment is that the newly formed white blood cells can further improve immune function such that they destroy any remaining cancer cells in the marrow.

What are the risks?

Stem cell transplants still have several risks associated with the procedure. Some people will find they experience few issues while others may require consistent monitoring and repeated hospital stays. Some of the complications that can occur with a stem cell transplant are:

  • damage to organs or blood vessels
  • graft versus host disease
  • Death

Thus, although some people will experience few complications, others may find they suffer from short and long-term problems associated with a stem cell transplant. The success varies widely and it is impossible to predict who will experience side effects and to what degree they will occur.

In most cases, the benefits of stem cell transplants will likely outweigh the risk of complications and these techniques can truly be life-saving for conditions such as leukemia and aplastic anemia. It is hoped and anticipated that future research can yield successful therapies for a broader range of diseases.

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4 Tugon so far »

  1. 1

    etzhel said,

    God’s loving arms would snuggle, protect and comfort you throughout the whole process. Keep getting better and stay extremely happy 😀

    Hugging u soooo tight…

    lex: thanks. hugging u back. wink!

  2. 2

    Becky said,

    Hello! I just found your site. Although, at the moment, I am waiting for my tumor cells to grow ~ I am not in need of stem cell treatments. It is completely amazing the vast array of treatments and studies being done for all cancers and diseases. I am a stage IV metastatic melanoma warrior! I’ve been fighting since dx in March 2006. I would love it if you and other’s would take the time to view my site: I love making new friends through this network and hearing about stories of triumph and passion!
    I wish you the best in life. Keep up the fight.

    lex: becky, thank you so much for your kind words and for visiting my blog. keep up the fight! God bless.

  3. 3

    repah said,

    napanuod ko yan sa t.v yung mga stem cell daw nakakagamot nang kahit anu pwede ring pampaganda….

    kya curable na ang may cancer ngayun.. kya go for it….

    lex: really? interesting. thanks sa pag-visit repah.

  4. 4

    Chemotherapy said,

    I think stem cells is the only way to go as far as bone marrow transplant is concerned. It’s the safest and best option reason being you don’t need to look for matching donors and immunosuppressant drugs. Stem cells for leukemia had already been proved the most beneficial.


    lex: thanks for the info bob. God bless.

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