What happens during Stem Cell Transplant?

During stem cell transplant the patient would receive chemotherapy, also called radiation therapy. This is done to damage or destroy bone marrow. This is the first step in the procedure and is called conditioning. The damaged bone marrow is replaced with healthy stem cells by stem cell transplant. Stem Cell transplant helps in recovering blood count to safe levels in a span of 2 weeks to 6 weeks.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful in the IAS Exam.

What is the Survival Rate of Stem Cell Transplant?

As per study conducted by researchers in the USA , positive results were found in the survival rates for stem cell transplants. There was a remarkable increase in the survival rates among patients who received blood stem cell transplants from both related and unrelated donors. The study was conducted on thousands of transplant patients with life threatening blood cancers over a time period of 12 years. For patients with Myeloid Leukemia’s survival rate was 94% for related transplants and 86% for unrelated transplants.

How Dangerous is a Stem Cell Transplant?

There are multitude of dangers arising from stem cell transplants. Dangers arise in both scenarios, transplant from own cells and transplant from donor cells. The list of associated risks are given below.

  1. Liver damage disease
  2. Inflammation of tissues
  3. Bleeding 
  4. Anemia
  5. Hair loss
  6. Liver damage
  7. Rashes

Why Would a Person Need a Stem Cell Transplant?

Bone marrow transplant and transplants done with stem cells found in the blood is called a stem cell transplant. The list of reasons which gives rise to stem cell transplants are given below

  1. Chemotherapy treatment would destroy cancer cells as well as stem cells. Hence there would be a need to replace these stem cells which is done through stem cell transplant.
  2. Replacement of diseased stem cells or bone marrow.
  3. Body is unable to produce blood cells due to failure of stem cells or bone marrow. Hence the need for stem cell transplant arises.


The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

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