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Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation
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There are many different types of blood cell, but they all develop from stem cells. Most of these stem cells are found in the bone marrow (the soft inside part of the bone), although some are found in the blood (peripheral blood stem cells). Chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy damages normal cells as well as cancer cells. At high doses the bone marrow may be damaged or destroyed, and the patient may not be able to produce the necessary blood cells. In a Bone marrow transplant (BMT), marrow containing healthy stem cells is infused to replace those damaged by the high dose therapy, so that the patient can produce blood cells again. If it is not possible to use marrow, a peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT) may be given. There are 3 types of transplant: (1) Allogenic transplants are where marrow is donated by another person; (2) Autologous transplants involve cells being taken from the patient, stored, and then reinfused following high-dose therapy; and (3) Syngenic transplants are where the donor is an identical twin.

BMT may be given for certain types of cancer, and only under specific circumstances. BMT has been widely used to treat specific cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma, and neuroblastoma. It is a relatively new treatment, and is still being evaluated for the treatment of some other types of cancer. There are various potential side effects associated with transplantation, these will largely depend on how well matched the donor's cells are to the patient's cells.

Menu: Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation

General Information for Patients and the Public
Registries and Transplantation Programs
Patient's Accounts of Transplantation
BMT Newsletters / Discussion Lists
Cord Blood
Information for Health Professionals

General Information for Patients and the Public (17 links)

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Registries and Transplantation Programs (16 links)

National and International registries keep details of bone marrow / blood donors, including their HL-A type (Human Leukocyte Associated antigens). These antigens are found on white blood cells, these are unique for each person (except for identical twins). The more similar the donor's HL-A antigens are to the recipient's the less likely the transplant will rejected. Registries use computerised matching systems to find the donors with the best match for the potential transplant patient.

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Patient's Accounts of Transplantation (4 links)

  • In Memory of Yossi Chaim In memory of Yossi, who was diagnosed with leukaemia (ALL) in 1997. This site has been set up by his parents and includes detailed updates of Yossi's experience of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant.
  • Josh Eaton's Home Page A 7 year old who has had a bone marrow transplant for Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Sadly Josh passed away but the web pages remainon-line to provide information about BMT for others.
  • One Day At A Time Day by Day account by a BMT patient
  • Susanne's Experience with ABMT for Breast Cancer by Peter Holm. This site provides a personal account of ABMT for breast cancer patient.
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BMT Newsletters / Discussion Lists (1 link)

  • BMT-TALK (ACOR) Moderated Mailing list for the discussion of Bone Marrow Transplants. Started in June of 1994, and is a moderated discussion on all aspects of BMT

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Cord Blood (10 links)

The umbilical cord connects the baby to the placenta supplying blood and nutrients. After birth it is usually discarded. However, stem cells from the cord blood are now being used as an alternative to bone marrow for treating some types of cancers and blood disorders. Expectant parents can (a) donate the cord to a public bank (see also the above section on blood/marrow registries); or (b) pay a commercial company to save the cord blood for potential use in the future (knowing the cord blood will be a good match for the child should they ever need a transplant). Using cord blood for transplants is a new technique, research is on-going. One problem can be that the number of cells is limited; on the other hand cord blood stem cells are thought to be more proliferative than other stem cells.
  • BioBank - Cord Blood Storage $ information about stem cells and cord blood with a free telephone line for the consumer and free written information on request.
  • Chicago Community Cord Blood Bank (USA) The CCCBB is dedicated to facilitating bone marrow transplants for children with a variety of genetic and malignant diseases.The site includes information for potential donors, and health professionals, and details of this non-profit service.
  • CorCell $ A company providing cord blood storage facilities - detailed FAQ.
  • Cord Blood Donor Foundation (USA) a not-for-profit public benefit organisation dedicated to promoting education and awareness of the merits of umbilical cord blood banking for use in transplantation, maintaining a ethnically-balanced stem cell donor bank, research etc.
  • Cord Blood Registry. $ "Cord Blood Registry is the largest private cord blood bank in the world. We offer expectant parents the opportunity to collect and cryogenically store their newborn's cord blood in case of future medical need."
  • Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, USA) on-line Fact Sheet
  • International Bone Marrow and Cord Blood Donor Search (The Caitlin Raymond International Registry, USA)
  • Lifebank (Canada) A Vancouver based commercial company providing cord blood storage; FAQ and details of services
  • UK Cord Blood Bank (UK) A private bank for the storage of umbilical cord blood stem cells which is a subsidiary of the New England Cryogenic Center, Inc (USA). The Web site includes details of the potential benefits of banking, FAQs, scientific updates, services and prices
  • United States Center for Cord Blood $ A Florida based company that provides services for storing cord blood, the site includes a FAQ and details of cord blood services.
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Information for Health Professionals (11 links)

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This page last updated: Sat 11 Jan 2003 Home