Stem Cell Transplantation: Life-Saving Treatment for Pediatric Patients

Stem Cell Transplantation is a Life-Saving Treatment for Pediatric Patients
Stem Cell Transplantation is a Life-Saving Treatment for Pediatric Patients

Assoc. Prof. from Memorial Ankara Hospital Pediatric Hematology Department. Dr. Meriç Kaymak Cihan gave information about the importance of stem cell transplantation (bone marrow transplantation), which can be applied to patients of almost all ages, for pediatric patients and the curious questions.

"Stem cell transplantation in the treatment of life-threatening conditions and blood diseases"

Assoc. Prof. from Memorial Ankara Hospital Pediatric Hematology Department stated that stem cell transplantation is a form of treatment by giving stem cells collected from a healthy person or the patient back to the patient. Dr. Meriç Kaymak Cihan, "In addition to life-threatening diseases such as leukemia (blood cancer), lymphoma, neuroblastoma, hereditary immunodeficiencies, hereditary metabolic diseases, autoimmune or immune dysregulatory diseases, Mediterranean anemia (beta thalassemia), sickle cell anemia, acquired and hereditary aplastic diseases." "Stem cell transplantation can also be used for the treatment of various blood diseases such as anemia." he said.

"Stem cells are taken from the donor in two ways"

Assoc. Prof. said that there are two methods of collecting stem cells from a healthy donor. Dr. Meriç Kaymak Cihan continued as follows:

“The first of these is the application performed by opening a vascular access. The donor is connected to the afaresis device, and while the blood circulates in the device, the stem cells are separated and collected in a different bag. In the second method, which takes place in the operating room, the donor is put to sleep under general anesthesia and bone marrow collection is performed by entering the hip bone with special needles.”

"Pre-transplant preparation regimen treatment is applied for the adaptation of the stem cell."

Assoc. Dr. Meriç Kaymak Cihan said, "In order to prevent the new stem cells from being rejected by the patient's body after the transplant, an average of one week and 10 days of treatment is applied, called the preparation regimen, consisting of chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs before the transplant." said.

"Possible side effects after transplantation should be carefully monitored."

Assoc. Prof. emphasized that the patient should stay in the transplant unit for an average of one month during the preparation regimen and after the transplant and be under doctor's supervision. Dr. Meriç Kaymak Cihan said, “If the patient has received an allogeneic stem cell transplant (transplant from a donor), it is checked how many of the given cells have settled in the patient's bone marrow in the 4th week. If the general condition is good after this test and there are no problems, the patient is discharged. However, it should not be forgotten that during this period, when the immune system takes time to normalize, the pediatric patient becomes vulnerable to the risk of infection.” he said.