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Bone marrow transplantation in Germany

The bone marrow is a spongy soft tissue located inside the bones of the skeleton. The most important task of the bone marrow is the process of hematopoiesis.

There are diseases that disrupt the normal functioning of the bone marrow. Thus, for example, with aplastic anemia, an insufficient number of blood cells is produced by the bone marrow. The result is a decrease in the content of erythrocytes, platelets and leukocytes in the human blood.

When leukemia, the bone marrow produces a huge amount of white blood cells (white blood cells). However, they are not ripe, and therefore - unable to be properly involved in the performance of their task. Call such immature cells blast. These leukocytes accumulate in the body, displacing the normal cells from the peripheral blood, after which they settle in various tissues of the body.

Stem cells in the bone marrow are cells in an unformed state, they are in the process of constant division. Because of the properties of these bone marrow cells, they, like malignant cells, are sensitive to ionizing radiation and the effects of chemical therapy. Radiation and chemical therapy, destroying cancer cells, affects with them and bone marrow, adversely affecting its ability to hematopoiesis. That is why patients with cancer that do not directly affect the bone marrow after the end of chemical or radiotherapy may still need bone marrow transplant.

Oncological diseases that destroy the bone marrow are irreversible, they are difficult to cure, and they pose a danger of death for the patient. Regardless of the fact that bone marrow transplantation is a complex procedure involving a certain risk, it is in many cases that it saves the life of the patient and gives him lost health.

The bone marrow is contained in the body of any person, on the basis of what, theoretically everyone can become a donor of bone marrow substance. But in reality, the body rejects transplanted foreign tissues. In order to avoid rejection of the transplanted substance, they must be compatible with the body of the person to whom the bone marrow is transplanted. In blood relatives, the chance of such compatibility is much higher, therefore it is preferable as donors.

Types of bone marrow transplantation in Germany

Based on sources of donor material, transplantation is divided into:

- allogenic - from an outside donor. This donor can be a close or distant relative or a stranger who is compatible with the recipient for such an operation.

- isogenic - from the identical twin, which is genetically identical to the recipient

- autologous - the substance for transplantation is taken in advance from the patient's body and stored before the date of transplantation under special conditions.

If autologous bone marrow transplantation is implied in Germany, the substance is obtained from the patient himself. With leukemia, the substance is taken before the course of radiation or chemotherapy. If necessary, the material is subjected to purification in order to exclude the presence of cancer cells in it. After that, it is subjected to freezing and stored until the moment of transplantation at a particularly low temperature.

Procedure for obtaining bone marrow substance in bone marrow transplantation in Germany

The procedure itself does not depend on the type of transplant, that is, on who exactly is the donor, whether the patient himself or the donor from the base. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, under operating conditions. A thick needle is introduced into the femoral or pelvic bone through which the necessary amount of fluid from the blood and bone marrow substance is pumped into the syringe. The liquid itself is sufficiently oily. Several punctures are required in order to obtain the required amount of material.

Before the procedure, the patient undergoes a series of medical checks to assess his general health status and determine the degree of risk associated with transplantation.

A few days before the transplant, the patient is hospitalized. In stationary conditions, he undergoes a course of intensive chemical therapy or radiation therapy, which purposefully destroys the cells of his bone marrow. Only after the completion of the course, it is possible to perform transplantation.

At the end of intensive therapy, the patient's body lacks the ability to make blood, and he remains vulnerable to infections. For this reason, in the department where bone marrow transplantation is performed in Germany, strict safety rules are observed to minimize the risk of getting the infection by the patient.

The procedure for transplanting the bone marrow substance somewhat resembles a blood transfusion. The substance taken from the donor is administered intravenously. In this case, the patient is in his ward, and not in a special operating room.

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