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Q. Which are the diseases that benefit from Stem cell Transplants?
Answer: Stem cell transplants are used predominantly in Patients with cancers arising from the blood or plasma cells, including Lymphoma, Leukemia, Myeloma and Hodgkin disease & other blood disorders such as Aplastic Anemia & Thalassemia. Although Allogeneic or Autologous transplants can be done for Patients with hematological malignancies, Patients with Leukemia usually undergo Allogeneic transplant while those with Lymphoma and Myeloma typically receive Autologous transplant.

Q. What is Thalassemia?
Answer: It is an inherited blood disorder characterized by deficient or abnormal hemoglobin structures & anemia. This requires regular blood transfusions & iron chelation therapy.
Q. What is Acute Myelogenous or Non-Lymphocytic Leukemia (AML)?
Answer: Cancer of the blood cells. Normally, the Bone Marrow makes cells called blasts that develop (mature) into several different types of blood cells that have specific jobs to do in the body. AML affects the blasts that develop into white blood cells called Granulocytes or Neutrophils. In AML, the blasts do not mature and become too numerous and crowd out normal cells. The progression of this disease is usually rapid. AML occurs in all ages and is the more common acute Leukemia in adults. Also called Acute Myeloid Leukemia or Acute Non Lymphocytic Leukemia
Q. What is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)?
Answer: Cancer of the blood cells. A disease in which too many immature white blood cells that give rise to Lymphocytes are found in the blood and Bone Marrow. The immature white blood cells are referred to as Lymphoblasts. The disease often results in the replacement of normal Bone Marrow with Lymphoblasts that crowd out normal cells. The progression of this disease is usually rapid. ALL appears most commonly in children although it can appear in adults.
Q. What is Aplastic Anemia?
Answer: It is a Bone Marrow failure. In this condition there is a dramatic decrease in the production of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets leading to an increased risk of infection and bleeding. A Bone Marrow biopsy often shows only fat and very few normal Bone Marrow cells.
Q. What will happen to me if I donate my Stem cells?
Answer: If you are selected as a Donor and wish to proceed, the Medical Director of the Registry will give you full information on the procedure and the risks associated with it. You will also have a medical examination performed by an independent Doctor.

If you are selected for further testing, you will have a number of weeks to decide about continuing. However, although all donations, including Stem cells, are voluntary, once the Patient has started their treatment to destroy their own Bone Marrow (between two and ten days before the transplant) the process is irreversible. If the Donor pulls out at this stage, it will most likely lead to the death of the Patient.
Q. Advantages/Disadvantage of Autologous Transplant?
Answer: When a Patient is getting his or her own blood cells back, it helps to speed recovery from chemotherapy. The only anti cancer effect comes from the conditioning regimen itself. However it is a concern that with Autologous transplant the stored Stem Cells may be contaminated with cancer cells, leading to the eventual “reseeding” of the cancer when the cells are transfused back into the Patient. Therefore, for many years, physicians performed trials in which collected Stem Cells were “purged” by a variety of laboratory methods in order to remove contaminated cancer cells.
Q. How is Cord Blood different from Bone Marrow or Peripheral Blood?
Answer: Cord Blood Stem Cells versus other Stem Cells
Umblical Cord Blood Stem Cells are easier to match than the traditional Bone Marrow Cells. Bone Marrow Stem Cells must be an exact HLA type match. Almost 70% of Patients needing a Bone Marrow transplant are unable to find a Donor using Marrow Donor registries.