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Can Bone Marrow Transplants Cure Leukaemia?

Cancer manifests in various forms, with blood cancer, medically referred to as leukaemia, being one of them. Blood cancer encompasses several types, with a significant portion, including leukaemia, originating in the bone marrow—a soft, spongy tissue within the bones responsible for blood cell production.


Causes of Blood Cancer


The primary site of blood cancer development is the bone marrow, a crucial component found in major bones dedicated to blood production. Any anomalies in the cells generated during this process can lead to their uncontrolled proliferation, occupying space in the bone marrow. The bone marrow's limited space poses challenges for normal functioning, causing the onset of blood cancer.


Experts highlight the bone marrow's crucial role in producing haemoglobin, essential for oxygen transport in the body through blood and cells. It also generates white blood cells, guarding against infections, and platelets, preventing bleeding. Any shortfall in these cells triggers symptoms.


In cases of anaemia (low red blood cells), individuals may feel fatigued. Reduced white blood cells heighten infection vulnerability, and decreased platelets can cause bleeding. Blood cancer, rooted in bone marrow, may lead to internal bone damage.


Symptoms of blood cancer may become evident on the bones or through fatigue. There are three primary types of bone marrow cancers: leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Each type exhibits distinct symptoms, and their diagnostic procedures and treatments vary. Leukaemia, characterised by the improper growth of white blood cells, manifests through symptoms such as recurrent infections, low platelet count, anaemia, and low haemoglobin.


Common Types of Leukaemia


Common types of leukaemia include Acute Leukaemia, which progresses rapidly and does not remain latent for an extended period. Acute Leukaemia further comprises two subtypes: Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. In contrast, the other type of leukaemia exhibits slow growth and gradually produces its cells. Consequently, symptoms may persist over an extended duration, allowing patients to observe signs before the disease fully emerges, which may take several months or years.


Types of Chronic Leukaemia


Chronic Leukaemia manifests in two main forms: Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia (CML) and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL). The exact scientific cause remains unidentified, and it's clarified that the condition isn't inherited, not passing from one generation to the next. Transmission through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids is improbable, and there are various potential causes.


Advanced age plays a notable role in certain leukaemia cases. Additional factors may encompass a history of prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Some viral infections are also linked to leukaemia, and individuals may display symptoms due to damage to the bone marrow or the presence of bone marrow development disorders.


Common Symptoms of Leukaemia


The common symptoms can be classified into three primary groups. The initial sign is fatigue, arising from a shortage of red blood cells or anaemia, resulting in weakness or breathlessness. The subsequent symptom involves recurring infections like urinary tract infections or frequent throat problems, accompanied by coughs, colds, or pneumonia. The third symptom manifests as bleeding and bruising. Bleeding may occur from the nose, gums, or be present in urine or stool, accompanied by bruising without any apparent injury.


Leukaemia Age Range


Leukaemia does not adhere to a specific age range, making it imperative for individuals of all ages to remain vigilant about potential symptoms. If any symptoms are observed, seeking consultation with a healthcare professional and undergoing blood tests is advised. Leukaemia can impact individuals across diverse age groups, with certain types being more prevalent in specific demographics.


Young individuals often face a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a condition commonly found in children. The upside is its high responsiveness to treatment, leading to a considerable success rate. In contrast, acute myeloblastic leukaemia tends to exhibit an increased incidence with age, particularly in the elderly demographic, where it is most commonly diagnosed.


Blood Cancer Treatment



Chemotherapy, along with specialised medications, constitutes a primary treatment avenue for chronic leukaemia. This therapeutic approach is not limited to a specific age group and is frequently observed in individuals of advanced age. Managing chronic leukaemia involves navigating through various treatment options, with chemotherapy standing out as a prominent choice. However, it is noteworthy that chemotherapy, while targeting leukaemia cells, also affects normal cells.


Targeted Treatment

Another viable treatment alternative is Targeted Treatment, designed to mitigate side effects. Immunotherapy specifically addresses leukaemia proteins, thereby minimising adverse reactions. A pivotal aspect of treatment is bone marrow transplant, with the timing and type contingent on the patient's disease and response. Determining when to execute a bone marrow transplant hinges on the patient's disease stage and the availability of a suitable donor.


Bone Marrow Transplant 

Treating leukaemia, especially during remission, or when the disease isn't actively present, sees Bone Marrow Transplant as a viable option. This substantially diminishes the risk of leukaemia coming back and finds applicability in treating conditions like lymphomas and myeloma.


Most people think that Bone Marrow Transplant End-Stage Treatment is exclusively for advanced stages of leukaemia. However, they are deployed in the early stages of laukaemia also. The transplant process commences when the body is cancer-free, with the primary goal of preventing infections and maintaining a disease-free state. The significance of the transplant becomes evident after other medical treatments, effectively reducing the chances of disease reappearance.


The advantages of transplantation aren't confined to leukaemia; they extend to diseases like lymphoma or myeloma, playing a pivotal role in preventing disease recurrence. Transplanted cells linger in the body for an extended period, ensuring the prolonged effectiveness of the treatment. Distinguishing itself from other therapeutic approaches, Bone Marrow Transplant involves donor cells remaining in the body for an extended duration, contributing to cancer eradication and long-term control. In conjunction with supplementary treatments, bone marrow can be utilised to augment the overall effectiveness of the transplant.


This blog has been converted from the PR Article - Blood Cancer Treatment: बोन मैरो कैंसर क्या होता है? एक्सपर्ट से जानिए इसके प्रकार, टेस्टिंग और ट्रीटमेंट

Dr Nitin Sood
Bone Marrow Transplant
Meet The Doctor
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