Blood and marrow transplant
A blood and marrow transplant is a procedure where healthy stem cells are taken from one area of the body, or from another individual called a donor, and placed into the blood stream to promote cell growth in bone marrow.
Stem cell transplant in Nashville, Tennessee
Our specialists offer many options for treating your blood or bone marrow condition.
At TriStar Health, we know the concerns that come with blood and marrow transplants (BMT) for adults and children. Through diagnostic testing and lab work, our board-certified doctors develop the treatment plan that's best for your needs.
Types of blood conditions we treat
Conditions that may cause BMT procedures can be challenging, so we offer access to an oncology team dedicated to treating blood cancers and bone marrow disorders including:
- Aplastic anemia
- Bone marrow failure syndromes
- Genetic disorders
- Immune deficiencies
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Sickle cell anemia
Bone marrow transplant care we offer
Our dedicated team is committed to delivering high-quality BMT services. Our team supports you as you move through your journey from pre-operative care to transplant surgery and post-operative care.
Types of blood and marrow transplants
If you are a transplant candidate, your oncologist, a doctor specializing in blood cancer treatments, may perform one of two procedures, autologous transplant or allogeneic transplant.
An autologous transplant uses your own stem cells to help you recover normal bone marrow function. The treatment process which lasts about four months includes the following:
- Evaluation — We work with you and your doctor to complete a thorough medical history.
- Pre-transplant workup — Our doctors want to ensure you can withstand the transplant procedure by ordering diagnostic tests for your vital organs such as your heart, lungs, and kidneys.
- Apheresis — Apheresis is a blood treatment process where your blood is processed through specialized equipment to collect stem cells from your blood plasma. Then, your stem cells are carefully frozen and stored until your transplant procedure.
- Conditioning regimen — The regimen is additional chemotherapy or radiation treatment to target and destroy diseased cells.
- Blood and marrow transplant — Your stem cells or donor stem cells are transplanted to your bone marrow.
- Recovery — Our transplant team follows up and monitors your progress after your procedure.
Allogeneic transplants use stem cells from a donor. Stem cells may be from one of your family members, an unrelated person or umbilical cord blood. It can take a month or longer to identify a donor and begin the transplant process.
Your doctor has the option of several conditioning regimens that include chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy or total body irradiation (TBI). Such regimens prepare your bones for transplant. Our physicians will use the option that best fits your health and treatment plan. Regimens include:
- Ablative regimen — With this regimen, you'll receive high-dose radiation therapy or chemotherapy which completely wipes out or ablates your bone marrow in preparation for receiving a bone marrow transplant.
- Non-myeloablative regimen — This treatment, also called a mini-transplant, infuses donor stem cells into your body after you receive low-dose chemotherapy for radiation treatment. It relies on the graft versus tumor effect or the marrow's ability to recognize and destroy diseased cells.
- Reduced intensity regimen — This type of conditioning, similar to a non-myeloablative regimen, is an option especially if you are over 65 years old. The regimen uses low-dose chemo or radiation with lower or reduced toxicity.
Allogeneic transplants also use immuno-suppressant medications to prevent the rejection of donor cells.
Long-term transplant follow-up care
We strive to help you navigate through recovery and ease any concerns you may have. Many transplant-related issues may come up in the years following your procedure. So, annual checkups at our clinic are essential.
Our long-term follow-up program supports you with life-long monitoring and care. Our transplant physicians and long-term follow-up team work with referring oncologists to monitor for complications, such as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) where donor cells attack your cells.
Some of the specialists on our follow-up team include a dedicated nurse practitioner and nurse coordinator. A psychologist, social worker and nutritionist are also available to support your needs through your ongoing survivorship.
Patient education and resources
Our interdisciplinary oncology team is prepared to help you through the full transplant process, from initial diagnostic testing to designing long-term care plans. We are here to help you through every step of the recovery process. Our educational handbook will assist you in becoming knowledgeable about the transplant process.