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Bone Marrow Transplantation: A Treatment Option for Sickle Cell Disease

key information

source: Sickle Options

year: N/A


Bone marrow transplantation is the only cure for sickle cell disease. Bone marrow is the fatty spongy tissue inside the bone where new blood cells are made. During transplantation, unhealthy bone marrow is removed with chemotherapy medicine and replaced with healthy donor stem cells which are the most immature form of cells in our body from bone marrow or umbilical cord blood. 

After successful bone marrow transplantation, the donor bone marrow will begin to make new blood cells which will not sickle. It may take one year to recover or get better after your transplant. 

There are two different types of bone marrow transplant depending upon who is donating the stem cells – Autologous Transplant and Allogeneic Transplant. Donors may come from your family or a member not related to you. Usually unrelated transplants have a higher risk of complications than match related transplant.

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