Tue, 30 Nov 2021 Today's Paper

Covid-19 & Bone Marrow Transplant: Should We Wait?

9 February 2021 09:57 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


What are the risks of undergoing a bone marrow transplant usually and now (COVID19)? Should patients proceed with the transplant now, or can it wait until the COVID19 situation improves?

There are several risks related to the transplant.

Patients may develop bleeding and/or infections from the transplant chemotherapy. There are also unique risks related to transplantation using foreign cells (cells from another person) because of the interaction between the donor cells and the patient’s (recipient) body. Donor cells can potentially attack the recipient in a process called graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). After the stem cells are infused, the patient’s immune system needs time to adjust, grow, and mature. Thus, the patient’s immunity remains low for months following the transplant.

In these times of COVID-19, there are several issues that need to be taken into account. These include but are not limited to:

The potential for the transplant recipient to contract COVID-19. Transplant recipients have weak immunity and may be severely affected if infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus.

Screening of patients and donors for SARS-CoV2 virus.

Blood product supply during pandemic. Patients undergoing transplant usually need transfusions of blood products (red blood cells and/or platelets) to help maintain safe levels while waiting for the transplanted cells to grow. The healthy donor pool may be reduced during times of pandemic. However, I personally have not had any issues with blood product supply even during this time.

Given the above risks, the decision whether to proceed with transplant during this COVID-19 pandemic needs to be carefully considered. In most instances however, the risk of not treating the underlying blood cancer (e.g. leukaemia) or delaying the transplant outweighs that of contracting the virus. This is because delays in treatment of aggressive blood cancers usually leads to relapse of the cancer. Discussion with the transplant physician should be carried out in detail.

Parkway Cancer Centre offers comprehensive cancer treatment with a highly skilled, multi-disciplinary team comprising Oncology and Hematology doctors, nurses, counsellors and other para-medical professionals with cutting edge technology to meet the specific needs of cancer patients. In Sri Lanka, CanHope Colombo is dedicated to providing patients with a seamless experience in Singapore for their healthcare. Contact CanHope Colombo, No 389, Highlevel Road, Nugegoda. Hotline: 0773460000


  Comments - 0

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment

Focus on Laggala Gem mining big shots bigger than the law

The truth is now being uncovered regarding an illegal mining racket in state

How and why the TNA was formed twenty years ago

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is now twenty years of age. The premier pol

India lays emphasis on culture diplomacy with Sri Lanka

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to inaugurate the Kushinagar Inter

Bittersweet memories of a ‘City that never slept’

At the heart of Eastern Province lies a now abandoned ghost town punctuated w