Bone Marrow Transplant at Apollo Chennai

India's most trusted facility for bone marrow transplantation at the Apollo Cancer Centre at Teynampet, Chennai.

What is bone marrow transplant (BMT)?

A bone marrow transplant is a process of transferring healthy bone marrow cells from a donor to a patient who has unhealthy bone marrow. Bone marrow transplant is a recommended therapy for patients with certain types of cancers or diseases.

Bone marrow transplant at Apollo Cancer Center

The Apollo Cancer Centre at Teynampet, Chennai is India's first standalone cancer treatment facility with bone marrow transplant (BMT) expertise that has been serving patients since 1993.
Equipped with 300 beds, the latest and the best technology, manned by a large pool of world renowned specialists and supported by a dedicated team of medical and paramedical professionals, Apollo Cancer Centre offers specialty healthcare of international standards with outcomes matching those of the world’s best hospitals.
Apollo Cancer Centre is one of the few setups in India with facilities to search for a potential unrelated donor and offer transplantation.

Cancer Specialists at Apollo Chennai

Dr. Mohamed Zehran Saipillai

Sr. Consultant Medical Oncologist

Dr. Ajit Pai

Sr. Consultant Surgical Oncologist

Dr. Rathna Devi

Sr. Consultant Radiation Oncologist

Dr. Venkatesh Munikrishnan

Sr. Consultant Coloproctologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon

Dr. C. Rayappa

Sr. Consultant Head & Neck Surgical Oncology

Do you want to book an appointment with a Senior Cancer Specialist?

Facilities Available at Apollo Cancer Centre

Cyberknife Radiosurgery
  • 300 Beds
  • CyberKnife
  • Dedicated Chemotherapy Ward
  • Dedicated Stem Cell Transplant Unit
  • PET CT
  • TrueBeam STx radiotherapy
  • Brachytherapy
  • Full Field Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis (3D) System.
  • Flow Cytometry

The process of Bone Marrow Transplantation

Peripheral Stem Cells Collection

Normally a small fraction of the cellular components of stem cells float in the blood circulation. This peripheral stem cell pool can be enhanced by a course of daily injections of a growth factor.

Peripheral stem cell harvest is done usually on the 4th / 5th / 6th day. The patient will be made to lie down on a couch and a drip will be put into the vein of each arm and the procedure takes about 3 hours.

Blood will be collected from one arm, via the drip, into a machine called a centrifuge, which spins it to separate out the peripheral stem cells.

These are collected and the remaining blood is returned through the drip in the other arm. The Peripheral stem cells can even be frozen until the patient has had the high-dose treatment.

Bone Marrow Collection

About a week or two before the bone marrow harvest is done, the patient (or the donor, for an Allogeneic transplantation) may have 1 to 2 units of blood taken. This will be given back during the bone marrow harvest.

The harvest itself is carried out under general anesthesia, so one will feel nothing. It involves the removal of some marrow from inside the bones at the back and front of the pelvis. (The hip bones).

The patient or donor will have to stay in the hospital overnight to recover fully from the general anesthesia. Usually, it feels sore for a few days and mild painkillers may be required. These will be administered by the nurses or doctors before the patient leaves the hospital.

Umbilical Cord Blood Collections

On occasions when the patient does not have a good matched relative / unrelated donor, a partially matched, unrelated cord blood with adequate cell dose would be an option.

This is the blood that is left behind in the placenta and the umbilical cord after the delivery of a baby. Cord blood is rich in peripheral stem cells and can be used instead of bone marrow for transplantation.

Transplanting the Bone marrow / Peripheral Stem Cells / Cord Blood

A day or more after the intensive chemotherapy is completed; the patient will start to feel slightly better. The patient's own, or the donated bone marrow or peripheral stem cells or cord blood will then be given through the central line into a vein. They will find their way back via the bloodstream to the bones, where they will start to grow and develop into mature blood cells

It will be at least two or three weeks before some of the 'new' blood cells are released into the bloodstream, and it may be up to six weeks before one can leave the hospital.

Do you want to book an appointment with a Senior Cancer Specialist?


What is a bone marrow?

Bone marrow is the tissue found inside bones where blood cells are developed and stored. The bone marrow cells that make other blood cells are called stem cells which are needed in a bone marrow transplant.

What are the types of Bone Marrow Transplantation

Who may benefit from bone marrow transplant?

Patients suffering from the following diseases may benefit from BMT

  • Leukemia
  • Immune deficiency disorders
  • Lymphoma
  • Myeloma

Who can be a donor for an Allogeneic transplant?

Matching HLA class I & Il is done by blood tests or buccal swab alone. It is not necessary to test the donor's bone marrow at this stage.

It is usual to start by testing the brothers and sisters, as they are likely to provide the best match; parents are not usually good matches, but there is a 7% chance for the parent to match.

The donor should be in good health. He or she will be given a thorough medical checkup to make sure that there will be no risk to his or her own health from the procedure.

What are some side effects of BMT?

  • Pain
  • Respiratory issues
  • Low platelet counts
  • Infections
  • Fluid overload
  • Organ damage

What is Conditioning Treatment?

Generally, before the stem cell infusion, the treatment lasts 4 to 6 days in total and consists of high doses of chemotherapy & radiotherapy

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