Difference Between Stem Cell Transplant and Bone Marrow Transplant

Transplants are widely practiced for treating cancer. The aim of the transplant depends on the medical condition of the patient. A transplant includes high chemotherapy doses and other treatments.

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Stem cell transplant and bone marrow transplant are two widely used transplants for treating cancer. They are almost the same but there are some differences between these two transplants.

Stem Cell Transplant vs Bone Marrow Transplant

The difference between stem cell transplant and bone marrow transplant is that stem cell transplant generally uses stem cells from the bloodstream of the patient or of a donor, which is known as a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, on the other hand, bone marrow transplant uses stem cells from the bone marrow of the patient or of a donor.

Stem Cell Transplant vs Bone Marrow Transplant

Stem cell transplant refers to the cell transplant procedure where doctors take stem cells from the bloodstream of the patient or of a donor to replace the damaged stem cells in the body.

It can be time taking to feel better after a stem cell transplant. Generally, stem cell transplant is used for treating cancer, severe immune system, or blood illness. 

Bone marrow transplant refers to the transplant procedure where doctors take stem cells from the bone marrow of the patient or of a donor to replace the unhealthy blood-forming body cells with healthy cells.

Before getting a bone marrow transplant the patient gets chemotherapy, and sometimes also gets radiation to destroy the disease marrow and cells.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Stem Cell TransplantBone Marrow Transplant
DefinitionStem cell transplant refers to the transplant where doctors remove the damaged stem cells of the umbilical cord or from the bloodstream.     Bone marrow transplant refers to the transplant where doctors remove the damaged stem cells of the bone marrow.
Location of harvesting A stem cell transplant is harvested from the bloodstream of the patient or of a donor.     A bone marrow transplant is harvested from the bone marrow of the patient or a donor.
AnesthesiaIn stem cell transplant neither general anesthesia nor local anesthesia is required.     In a bone marrow transplant, either general anesthesia or local anesthesia is required.
PainIn stem cell transplant the donor has to suffer a lot of pain.     In a bone marrow transplant, the donor has to suffer less pain compared to the stem cell transplant.
UsageStem cell transplant is mostly used compared to bone marrow transplant.Bone marrow transplant is not used as much as stem cell transplant.

What is Stem Cell Transplant?

Stem cell transplant is the transplant where doctors take stem cells from the bloodstream or umbilical cord of a donor to transplant the damaged cells into the patient body.

Generally, umbilical cords are used while transplanting the children as they don’t have enough cells to transplant on. 

For triggering the growth of the stem cells, several substances, like G-CSF, need to be introduced before extracting stem cells from the donor body.

The G-CSF or granulocyte-colony-stimulating is used and added to the donor body so that the bone marrow of the donor body can produce more stem cells.

By a procedure called apheresis, the stem cells from the donor body are extracted and then given to the patient body for replacing the damaged cells.

Stem cells transplant is commonly used for treating several medical conditions like myeloma, and other cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma.

Stem cell transplant is a very easy process as in stem cell harvesting there is no need to give anesthesia. The process is less painful compared to bone marrow transplants. 

There are some disadvantages of stem cell transplant too. The process is time taking.

Firstly the donor has to be treated with the G-CSF to produce more stem cells in the bloodstream which takes almost 6 days to produce more stem cells. After that, the stem cells can be extracted from the donor body.

What is Bone Marrow Transplant?

Bone marrow transplant is the transplant where doctors remove stem cells from the bone marrow of a donor’s body to transplant it with the damaged cells of the patient’s body.

Bone marrow transplant is also used to treat several cancers like leukemias and lymphomas and several types of myeloma.

Bone marrow transplant is also used for those cancer patients whose bone marrow was destroyed completely due to the treatment procedures.

For extracting stem cells from the bone marrow of the donor’s body, general or local anesthesia is required as this is a very painful procedure where a needle is directly inserted into the marrow cavity of the bone of the donor’s body for extracting stem cells.

Almost 1500ml of the stem cells are taken by the needle at once. 

The main advantage of the bone marrow transplant is that there is no need to give G-CSF to the donor’s body as in this procedure a needle directly collects stem cells from the bone marrow.

For this, doctors don’t have to wait to produce stem cells in the donor body. This procedure also reduces the chance of graft versus host disease. 

The major disadvantage of the bone marrow transplant is that the donor has to be given anesthesia as the procedure is very painful. In this case, general anesthesia sometimes causes many complications.

Main Differences Between Stem Cell Transplant and Bone Marrow Transplant

  1. Stem cell transplant refers to the transplant where doctors remove the damaged stem cells of the umbilical cord or from the bloodstream. On the other hand, bone marrow transplant refers to the transplant where doctors remove the damaged stem cells of the bone marrow.
  2. A stem cell transplant is harvested from the bloodstream of the patient or of a donor. Bone marrow transplant, on the contrary, is harvested from the bone marrow of the patient or a donor.
  3. In stem cell transplant neither general anesthesia nor local anesthesia is required. In a bone marrow transplant, either general anesthesia or local anesthesia is required.
  4. In stem cell transplant the donor has to suffer a lot of pain. In a bone marrow transplant, the donor has to suffer less pain compared to the stem cell transplant.
  5. Stem cell transplant is mostly used compared to bone marrow transplant and bone marrow transplant is not used as much as the stem cell transplant.

References

  1. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=stem+cell+transplant+&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3Dsy73vHbhfhUJ
  2. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=bone+marrow+transplant+&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D6qOfrBU8BDkJ
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