Bone Marrow Transplantation: Rebooting Blood & Immune System

October 5, 2022

What is Bone marrow?

Bone marrow is a soft and spongy material found in the centre of long and large flat bones in the human body. It is composed of red bone marrow and yellow bone marrow which is packed with vital cell called “stem cells” which produces haemoglobin, white blood cells and platelets continuously throughout the life span

What are Stem cells?

Hemopoietic stem cell is a parent cell from which all type of blood cells like red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are formed. Stem cells have infinite potential to proliferate and form functional blood system. Bone marrow will protect and nourish these stem cells.

What is Bone marrow transplantation?

Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a modality of treatment where the defective bone marrow is replaced with healthy stem cells. BMT is a medical procedure performed by a team of doctors and nurses in a specialised unit called “Bone marrow transplantation unit (BMTU)”. It is not a surgical procedure.

Is bone marrow transplant same as stem cell transplant?

The two terminologies are synonymous and are used interchangeably. “Hematopoietic stem cell transplant” is the most accepted terminology.

Indications to do bone marrow transplantation

In certain conditions, BMT is the only curative treatment available. The diseases include:

• Aplastic anemia (Bone marrow failure)
• Primary Immune deficiency (Disorder of Immune system)
• Genetic diseases such as thalassemia and sickle cell disease (Disorders where Hemoglobin synthesis is affected)
• Relapsed/refractory leukemia (blood cancer) and lymphoma (Cancer of Lymphatic system)
• High risk solid tumors like Neuroblastoma (cancer of Adrenal gland)

Types of bone marrow transplant:

Depending on type of donor and extent of match there are many types of stem cell transplant:

Autologous stem cell transplant-
The child is his or her own donor in autologous stem cell transplant. This is the preferred type in treatment in relapsed lymphoma and few refractory solid tumors.

• Allogenic stem cell transplant-
The stem cells for an allogenic transplant come from another healthy person called donor. This is the preferred type in bone marrow failure diseases, disorders of immune system and blood cancers.

• Umbilical cord blood transplant-
Stem cells are taken from the umbilical cord soon after birth and preserved.

How are stem cells are collected from the donor?

A) Peripheral blood stem cell collection: The stem cells can be collected from blood similar to a simple blood donation called “Apheresis”.

B) Bone marrow harvest: This procedure is done under anesthesia, where stem cells are collected directly from bone marrow.

Success of BMT:

The success of BMT depends on the medical condition being treated, type of transplantation, the experience of treating team and facilities at hospital. In conditions like aplastic anemia and thalassemia, the success is as high as 80-95% cases. In high risk cancers, the success rate is often 60-65%.

Is Bone marrow transplant in done in Kasturba Hospital, Manipal?

Yes. The bone marrow transplantation program offers regular services in Kasturba Hospital. The autologous transplantation is being performed from 2014 and allogenic transplantation from 2020. The medical team is proficient in performing all types of stem cell transplantation including half-matched allogenic stem cell transplantation. The unrelated donor registries like DATRI (national) and DKMS-BMST (international) registries are affiliated.

April 14, 2022: Voluntary stem cell donation (HLA) drive at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal organized by DKMS-BMST

Highlights of the BMT services at Kasturba Hospital:

• Equipped with state of art 4-bedded pediatric BMT unit
• Blood bank and Immunohematology unit with stem cell collection facility and 24X7 blood product availability
• Laboratory facility which can carry out specialized tests like monitoring of drug levels
• 24 X 7 Pharmacy services (essential medicines)
• Specialized nursing team
• Social worker, dietician, physiotherapist
• Allied specialties: Radiotherapy, surgical oncology, medical genetics, palliative, and supportive care services, fertility preservation and reproductive medicine, endocrinology, cardiology, and gastroenterology services.

Pediatric BMT unit, KH, Manipal: 4-bedded HEPA filtered rooms


Health Tips by Kasturba Hospital, Manipal

All you need to know About Newborn Health, Screening:

Pediatric Oncology:


Epilepsy Surgery:

The Older Woman & Infertility: Hope for them -


For Feedback and queries, please send an email to: or call +91 820 2922686.


By Dr Vinay M V
Dr Vinay M V is an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Prabhu, DK/Canada

    Fri, Oct 07 2022

    It is heartening to see such a progress ! I recall very clearly in 1950’s when blood transfusion was viewed with stigma and even horror even by the educated people! The hospitals paid the donors cash for donating!

  • Kiran, Bengaluru

    Fri, Oct 07 2022

    Very informative article Dr. Such articles are enlightening, looking forward to more.

Leave a Comment

Title: Bone Marrow Transplantation: Rebooting Blood & Immune System

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.