What Diseases Are Treatable By Bone Marrow Transplant?

What Diseases Are Treatable By Bone Marrow Transplant?

Advancement in the field of science has given promising outlook to bring to an end of a number of diseases which have no cure. These diseases include:

  • Blood and lymph disorders such as leukemias, lymphomas and myeloproliferative disorders.
  • Inherited disorders of the immune system such as severe combined immunodeficiency(SCID) and Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome(WAS).
  • Diseases of the red blood cells also known as haemoglobinopathies
  • Inherited disorders of metabolism such as Hurler syndrome, Krabbe disease,Adrenoleukodystrophy(ALD), Metachromatic leukodystrophy.
  • Plasma cell disorders eg multiple myeloma
  • Histiocytic disorders eg familial erythrophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

Let’s look at Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

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Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia(AML) also known as acute myeloid leukemia or acute myeloblastic leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood cells. It is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells.

Acute myelogenous leukemia is a malignant cancer in the sense that it develops and spreads quickly; more so, it can have deleterious effects on the affected person. The cancer has no age-barrier. It affects both adult and children. However, its occurrence is predominant in people over 50 years of age.

It is not known what exactly causes Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, but causes have been associated with over – exposure to radiation and benzene – an industrial solvent.
Conditions such as Fanconi anemia, and chemotherapy in the treatment of other cancers have also been indicated to increase the risk of developing Acute myeloblastic leukemia.

A person who has developed acute myeloid leukemia may show any or combination of the following symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • High fever
  • Pallor
  • Slurred speech
  • Increased susceptibility to infections in a short period of time – the person suffers numerous infection almost in the same period
  • Excessive sweating known as hyperhydrosis
  • Joint pain and bone pain
  • Enlarged spleen, lymph nodes and liver
  • Consistent weight loss which cannot be explained
  • CNS symptoms like blurred vision, seizures, headaches and dizziness (these occur when the brain is affected).

How can acute Myeloid Leukemia be diagnosed?

  • The physician needs to take a family history of the patient.
  • Physical examination of the eyes and mouth, palpation of the liver and spleen.
  • Bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy. Either of the two can serve for bone marrow test. Bone marrow aspiration is done by a process known as Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA).
  • From the symptoms also, the physician will know whether to take a sample of the spinal fluid via a lumbar puncture
  • Blood tests are done to ascertain the particular leukemia that is present. We have other forms of leukemia. Blood tests to carry out include:
  • Complete blood count also known as full blood count. Complete blood count shows the total number of immature and mature blood cells.
  • Peripheral blood smear is done to have a picture of the blood cells shape.
  • Blood chemistry and coagulation check whether the kidneys and liver are affected.
  • Immunohistochemistry and Flow Cytometry help to determine the type of leukemia present too. Results of immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry also help in prognosis.
  • Other tests to be done include Fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) to examine the parts of chromosome for changes which are not visible under the microscrope.
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is conducted especially for patients undergoing remission. It trails the genetic alterations in sampled cells.

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