Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India

Last Modified: October 15, 2020  |   Created on: July 3, 2018
Blood Cancer, Blood Disorder, Transplants

“The cost of Bone marrow transplant in India starts from $15000. The bone marrow transplant hospitals in India promise unparalleled health treatments at low-cost packages.

Type of Bone Marrow Transplant Price Days in Hospital Total Days in India
Autologous bone marrow transplant USD 15,000 90 173
Allogeneic bone marrow transplant USD 22,000 90 173

The cost of bone marrow transplant in India starts from USD 15,000 for autologous bone marrow transplant and USD 22,000 for allogeneic bone marrow transplant.

The following table indicates the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant around the world:

CountryAutologous BMTAllogeneic BMT
India$15,000$22,000
Turkey$90,000$170,000
Germany$225,000$500,000
US$350,000$800,000
Mexico$35,000$50,000

Testimonial:11 year old boy from Zambia treated in India for a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT)

The Bone marrow transplant procedure was a complete success. The child is now on his path to immune recovery. It was not at all easy…but it was very much worth it!! We’re deeply touched by the passion of Dr. Surbhi and her team Lyfboat. Read More

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What are the factors that affect the cost of Bone Marrow Transplantation in India?

Bone marrow transplant cost in India starts at as low as $15,000 for treatment of conditions like Myeloma, but this price varies for other medical conditions. The overall cost for Bone marrow transplant in India also depends on following factors:

  • Availability of Donor.
  • Type of transplant required
  • Choice of Hospital : The cost of bone marrow transplant also differs based on the choice of the hospital. Every hospital has its own examination and test facilities, infrastructure, support and surgeon fees that eventually add to the total transplant cost.
  • Duration of hospital stay
  • Specialist’s fees

For every transplant case, an allocated case manager is appointed who takes a personalized interest in designing the treatment plan for every patient and the bone marrow transplant cost package. The cost of bone marrow transplant also differs based on the type of the hospital. Every hospital has its own examination and test facilities, infrastructure, support and surgeon fees that eventually add to the total transplant cost.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Bone Marrow Transplantation in India?

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Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

Who can donate bone marrow?

When a patient suffers from diseased or damaged bone marrow that is unable to produce good and healthy blood cells, he or she needs the stem cells derived from a donor for transplant. A person is eligible to become a BMT donor if his or her tissues closely match with that of the patient’s tissues. 

Generally, a matching donor is from the immediate family, a child, a sister or brother or a parent. However, if a person is lucky then he or she can get the best match in a volunteer too. A cent percent match is not necessary, but the close match with a positive outcome is indispensable.

Another source of BMT cells is from the placenta and umbilical cord of a newborn. If these cells are collected from the baby and then frozen in a stem cell bank, they can be successfully used later for bone marrow transplant. This type of transplant is clinically termed cord blood transplant.

Inforgraphics-Autologous-BTM

Autologous Transplant:

In this type, the hematopoietic cells procured from the body of the patient is kept in a deep freezer before high-dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy is initiated for cancer treatment. Once the therapies are administered, the cancer cells are destroyed and in the process, normal cells are badly affected. After the therapies are over, the stored hematopoietic cells that were kept in the freezer are transplanted again into the patient’s body.

Allogenic Transplant:

This type of bone marrow transplant involves extracting the donor’s bone marrow, also called peripheral stem cells. This bone marrow is matched genetically and may or may not relate to you. Doctors may follow syngeneic bone marrow transplant that includes receiving peripheral stem cells and bone marrow of identical twins.

What happens during bone marrow transplant?

Bone marrow is a soft tissue present inside the bones that produce WBCs, RBCs and platelets. If the stem cells fail to produce normal and healthy blood cells, then doctors recommend bone marrow transplant for replacing diseased bone marrow with a healthy one. This new stem cell is taken from a donor and implanted in the recipient’s body that further helps to produce healthy blood cells. 

Sometimes for the treatment of certain cancers, the bone marrow is taken from the body of the patient itself before transplanting it back into their bodies. In the middle of the two procedures, the patient is made to undergo radiation treatment and chemotherapy, which end up destroying the healthy bone marrow. The bone marrows retrieved from the body of the patient before radiation and chemo is then transplanted.

The bone marrow transplant procedure is carried out in a medical facility and involves following steps:

  1. Collection of donor stem cells:

The bone marrow cells are harvested from a donor if it is an allogenic bone marrow transplant, while for autologous bone marrow transplant patients own cells are retrieved before starting with chemotherapy.

The donor cells can be collected in two ways:

Peripheral blood stem cell donation (Leukapheresis)

For Peripheral blood stem cell donation (PBSC), the donor is given shots of substance that will help the movement of stem cells from the bone marrow to the bloodstream. This goes on for several days. During leukapheresis, the blood is drawn through a needle in the patient’s arm and collected through an intravenous (IV) line. A machine will separate out the part of white blood cells that contain stem cells from other components of the blood. These stem cells might be stored and frozen, especially in case of autologous transplant. 

Bone marrow donation: It involves a minor surgery performed under general anesthesia, which means the donor will be unconscious and feel no pain during the procedure. Then the surgeon will collect the bone marrow from the back of both hip bones using a needle. The amount of marrow that can be removed is determined on the basis of the weight of the bone marrow recipient.

In most cases, PBSC donation is used as it is a simple process that does not involve surgical risks. Also, it does not cause any discomfort to the patient as opposed to bone marrow donation, where the donor may feel a little sore around the hip for a few days. 

Cord blood: In cases where the cord blood is used, the stem cells are obtained from the placenta and umbilical cord donated by the mother of a newborn baby. The mother will decide if she wants to donate the cord long before the baby is born. It doesn’t affect the baby health in any way. The cells are then frozen and stored until needed for transplant.

  1. Conditioning process

Once the pre-transplant tests and procedures are done, the recipient will go through a process called ‘conditioning’ to prepare their body for transplant. During a conditioning regime, they will have chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. This is required to:

  • Destroy the cancer or diseased cells in the body as a treatment modality for the underlying condition. 
  • Suppressing the immune system (to allow it to accept the transplant cells)
  • Prepare the bone marrow for the new stem cells

The type and amount of conditioning the patient receives depends on several factors, including the disease being treated, recipient’s overall health and the type of bone marrow transplant. A person may undergo chemotherapy or radiation, or have a combination of both these treatments during their conditioning.

Some possible side effects of the conditioning procedure include common adverse effects related to chemotherapy and radiation, such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Risk of infection
  • Infertility issues
  • Anaemia
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Complications related to other organ, such as heart, liver or lung failure

The doctor may prescribe some medications or recommend other measures to reduce the side effects.

Reduced-intensity conditioning

The top bone marrow transplant hospitals in India offer this kind of conditioning for some patients. This type of conditioning process involves the use of lower doses or different types of chemotherapy and/or radiation during the treatment. The doctor will recommend reduced-intensity conditioning on the basis of the patient’s age and overall health status.

This conditioning will destroy some diseased cells and suppresses the immune system. The donor’s cells are then infused into recipient’s body, and over time they will replace the cell in the bone marrow. The immune factors in the donor cells help fight the cancer cells and treat the condition.

  1. Bone marrow transplantation in India

For the transplant, a central line is used to transfer the collected stem cells into the recipient’s body. This is done after the conditioning process is complete. 

A central venous catheter, or port, is installed on the upper portion of the patient’s chest. The fluid containing new stem cells flows directly into the heart through the catheter and gets dispersed throughout the body. As they reach to the bone marrow, they will become established there and grow to increase their number. The blood cell count will return to normal within a few weeks. The patient will have regular blood count tests, meanwhile, to monitor the progress.

The transplant infusion itself is a painless process and the recipient remains awake during the procedure. It takes a few hours to complete the procedure.

Stem cells that were frozen have to be thawed before the transplant. They contain a preservative that may cause certain side effects in the patient. The doctor will administer certain medicines in such cases to help prevent any complication. Sometimes, extra fluids are also given to flush the preservatives out of the body.

What are the tests done for matching donor and recipient?

Matching for a bone marrow transplant is an important step for determining a donor in the case of allogenic transplant. The test used for matching is typing for human leukocyte antigen (HLA). These are special antigens present on the surface of all the cells in our body.

This helps the immune system recognize and determine the cells are foreign or belong to our body. There are over 100 HLA markers or antigens; however, only a few major ones are required for determining a match between donor and recipient. These HLA markers make an individual’s tissue type unique and matching these certain antigens is critical for a successful bone marrow transplant in India.

For a transplant match test, the more antigens that match, the better is the success of stem cell transplantation. As the new stem cells travel and reach the marrow after infusion, they to begin to grow and making new blood cells. In some cases, there is a possibility that the immune factor of the transplanted cells recognize the recipient’s body as foreign and attack it. This is known as graft vs. host disease (GVHD). HLA matching is important for a bone marrow transplant to reduce the risk of such complication

HLA-matched bone marrow is conducted as a blood test. A sibling of a patient generally has a good chance of being a fully-matched donor. In such cases, it less likely to experience teh possible side effect of graft vs. host disease (GVHD).

How is recovery after bone marrow transplant? 

A typical recovery period for a bone marrow transplant is around three months. However, this duration may vary and take up to even a year to recover fully. The factors affecting the recovery timeline include:

  • The disease or malignant condition that is being treated
  • Type of condition with chemotherapy or radiation
  • Match with the donor 
  • The facility where the transplant was performed and care they provide

What precaution should be taken before and after bone marrow transplant?

The precautions to be taken before and after bone marrow transplant should be followed comprehensively. Prior to getting approval for bone marrow transplant, the patient has to undergo pre-transplant evaluation.

The evaluation procedure involves consultation and discussion with members of the BMT team. Then, a series of tests is performed to assess if the patient is eligible for getting a transplant. Once you have been approved as a good candidate for bone marrow transplant, a BMT date is fixed and insurance clearance process begins.

Post bone marrow transplant, the patient suffers from a very low immune system for two to four weeks, which makes him or her susceptible to infections. Hence, the patient is put under observation and is persistently and religiously administered medications and antibiotics. The idea is to protect the patient from fungal and viral infections.

After the first one month, the graft implanted settles and produces blood cells in the bone marrow, thus improving the host’s condition. Once the graft takes hold of the recipient, drugs that were given to suppress immunity are withdrawn. Sometimes, many patients require re-immunization, which is possible through vaccines.

Why people prefer bone marrow transplant in India?

Today, India has three most popular bone marrow registries, based in Chennai, and another in Delhi. The available procedures for bone marrow transplant in India include autologous transplant and allogeneic transplant.

In 2005, an extensive study was conducted from six different and most renowned transplant centers in India. The study revealed that an approximate 1,540 transplants were conducted successfully in India having a population of over a billion. India has a vision of ensuring affordable bone marrow transplant cost for the countrymen and foreign nationals traveling here to seek treatment as well. Today, the Bangalore City takes an immense pride in having the largest bone marrow transplant facility in the country.

Bone Marrow Transplant in India Risks 

Infections: Post transplant the first 2-3 weeks are very crucial as the new bone marrow grows and produces white blood cells. A good antibiotic coverage helps the patients against infections 

Mucositis or Mouth sores: It is an inflammation of the lining of the mouth or gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the most common side effect of stem cell therapy.

Veno-Occlusive Disease of the Liver (VOD): High-dose chemotherapy can result in damage to the liver and this usually occurs in the first 2 weeks after high-dose chemotherapy treatment 

Interstitial Pneumonia Syndrome (IPS): IPS can occur anytime soon after the transplant and damage the cells of the lungs. Most commonly it is seen in patients who have had exposure to certain types of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy given prior to the transplant. 

Graft-versus-Host Disease: It is a condition that develops when a donor transplant’s immune cells attack the recipient’s tissues.

Graft Failure: The graft fails to grow or is rejected in the patient, resulting in bone marrow failure 

Cataracts: Cataracts are a common long-term side effect too and it typically begins 18-24 months following the chemotherapy

Infertility: Sterility is another common side effect of chemotherapy but in few cases some prepubertal and adolescent females do recover ovulation and regular menstrual cycles.

New cancers: Along with relapse “secondary cancers” may occur as a late complication of high-dose chemotherapy. Read more.

Graft-versus-host disease: A potential complication of bone marrow transplant

This condition is potential risk that may occur when the new stem cells that were transplanted are derived from a donor. In case of allogeneic transplant, the recipient have chances of developing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). It happens when the new donor stem cells that grow and rebuild the patient’s new immune system identifies the body’s tissues and organs as foreign agent and attack them.

The risk of GVHD is more when the stem cells are obtained from an unrelated donor, but it may happen to anyone who receives stem cells from a donor. Graft-versus-host disease can happen at any time after the bone marrow transplant. 

There are two types of GVHD that can occur:

Acute GVHD: This usually occurs during the first few months after the transplant. It typically affects the skin, liver or digestive tract, and gut. This may cause symptoms, such as skin rashes, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea or an increase in the liver enzymes.

Chronic GVHD: This usually develops some time later and may affect several organs. The signs and symptoms that indicate chronic GVHD include:

  • Pain in the joint or muscle 
  • Breathlessness 
  • A persistent cough
  • Changes in the vision, such as dry eyes
  • Scarring or stiffness on the skin 
  • Yellow pigmentation on the skin or whites of eyes – jaundice 
  • Dry mouth or Mouth sores
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting

To treat this condition, the doctor will give certain medications to suppress the immune system along with anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids to provide relief from the symptoms. The choice and length of treatment depends on the type of condition – acute or chronic. Patients with GVHD may undergo treatment for almost a year or more, depending on their response towards therapy.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How much time does it take to recover after Bone Marrow Transplant?

Autologous bone marrow transplant recovery time is usually one month, while allogeneic bone marrow transplant recovery time is at least three months. Blood count usually starts to improve only after 10 to 20 days after the transplant. In the process, the patient is continuously monitored so as to keep infections at bay. When the blood count rises, the patient’s medical condition shows better signs of improvement.

Q. What are the complications of Bone Marrow Transplant?

Some of the complications of bone marrow transplant include bleeding, infection, liver disease and graft-versus-host disease. The pain from the complications arising out of the transplant is controlled by medication. In addition to these, mouth sores may develop making swallowing and chewing uncomfortable. Sometimes, temporary mental confusion is another major sign of complications after bone marrow transplant.

 Q. What is bone marrow and why is it required?

Bone marrow is a spongy tissue, which is present inside the breastbone or bones in the skull, ribs, spine and hips. This spongy tissue comprises of stem cells that help produce three types of blood cells in the human body. These include red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, help to carry oxygen in the blood and eliminate waste from it, while white blood cells, known as leukocytes, help to fight infection. Platelets, on the other hand, enable blood to clot.

Q. Why is Bone Marrow Transplant performed?

Bone marrow transplant helps provide a new lease of life to patients suffering from life-threatening conditions, including leukemia or multiple myeloma.

Q. How do they do a bone marrow transplant?

Bone marrow produces different types of blood cells including WBCs, RBCs, and platelets. If the stem cells fail to produce normal and healthy blood cells, then doctors recommend bone marrow transplant for replacing diseased bone marrow with a healthy one. This new stem cell is taken from a donor and implanted in the recipient’s body that further helps to produce healthy blood cells.

Sometimes for the treatment of certain cancers, the bone marrow is taken from the body of the patient itself before transplanting it back into their bodies. In the middle of the two procedures, the patient is made to undergo radiation treatment and chemotherapy, which end up destroying the healthy bone marrow. The bone marrows retrieved from the body of the patient before radiation and chemo is then transplanted.

Q. Can I undergo bone marrow transplant?

The best candidates for bone marrow transplant include individuals who are suffering from diseases certain forms of blood cancer such as myelodysplasia, leukemialymphoma and multiple myelomathalassemia, severe immunodeficiency syndrome, aplastic anemia, low blood cells counts, immature blood cells, excessive production of immature blood cells, sickle cell anemia and congenital neutropenia.

The cancer patients may require stem cell transplant if their bone marrow gets damaged by radiation or chemotherapy. The only treatment for this medical condition is radiation or chemotherapy. The chemotherapy and radiation treatment procedure help to destroy abnormal blood cells and abnormal stem cells.

However, in the process, the normal cells are also destroyed. At the same time, aggressive chemotherapy can even damage healthy bone marrow. Only a bone marrow transplant can help save the patient by replacing the destroyed bone marrow.

Q. How do you donate bone marrow?

When a patient suffers from diseased or damaged bone marrow that is unable to produce good and healthy blood cells, he or she needs the stem cells derived from a donor for transplant. A person is eligible to become a BMT donor if his or her tissues closely match with that of the patient’s tissues.

Generally, a matching donor is from the immediate family, a child, a sister or brother or a parent. However, if a person is lucky then he or she can get the best match in a volunteer too. A cent percent match is not necessary, but the close match with a positive outcome is indispensable.

Another source of BMT cells is from the placenta and umbilical cord of a newborn. If these cells are collected from the baby and then frozen in a stem cell bank, they can be successfully used later for bone marrow transplant. This type of transplant is clinically termed cord blood transplant.

 

Q. Is it painful to be a bone marrow donor?

The notion that bone marrow donation is painful is a myth. A large majority of people who have donated some bit of their bone marrow confess themselves that it is a completely painless and comfortable procedure.

Bone marrows can be derived by two methods – either from the pelvic bone under the influence of general anaesthesia or from the blood stream of the patient. Prior to the second procedure, the donor is given hormone injections to make the stem cells multiply in the blood stream itself. Next, blood is taken from the donor to extract stem cells from them.

Q. Is it dangerous to donate bone marrow?

Bone marrow donation is a simple, outpatient, and painless procedure. The donor can go home on the same day of donation but may feel a bit tired for a few days. 

Otherwise, it is a completely safe and risk-less procedure. The only major risk that the donor suffers from is a reaction to anaesthesia, but it is a very rare complication. Donors aged between 18 and 44 are considered to be the best candidates for bone marrow donation because of minimal risk of complications.

Q. What to expect after bone marrow transplant?

Life can be both worrisome and exhilarating post bone marrow transplant. Patients have to visit doctors often to be closely monitored. However, a bone marrow transplant is, indeed, a blessing after being close to death. Life can drastically improve after the transplant.

Q. What are stem cells?

Stem cells have the potential to develop into some or many different types of cell in the body. It depends on whether they are pluripotent or multipotent. They Serves as a sort of repair system. They can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells for as long as the patient is alive. Each daughter cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function in case od division of cells. Some of the examples of these cells are muscle cell, red blood cell, or brain cell.

Vanshika Rawat

Written By Vanshika Rawat

Vanshika Rawat is an experienced content developer. She is very knowledgeable in the field of science and healthcare and has worked under brilliant scientists during her higher education. Vanshika obtained her degrees in Masters in Science and Bachelors in Science (Microbiology with Hons.) from renowned institutions - Panjab University and University of Delhi.
Dr. Suneet Singh

Verified By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a doctor-turned-Hospital Administrator with a rich 12 years plus multi-faceted experience in the field of operations management, Corporate and Public Health Administration. Formerly a practicing doctor, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from one of the country's esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

India hosts over 200 top-notch bone marrow transplant hospitals across the major cities such as New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Nagpur, and Kochi. These hospitals have the best trained and experienced surgeons and nurses who are dedicated to providing personalized care and specialized services to bone marrow transplant patients.

The donor is required to stay a night at the hospitals to complete the bone marrow transplant procedure. Once the stems are collected, they are sent to the laboratory for harvesting. Then, blood transfusion is performed on the body of the recipient with the help of an injection.

Remember, every cancer hospital and super-specialty unit evaluates the health condition of the patient and whether he or she is capable of tolerating certain medications before the transplant procedure and after it. If everything is fine, the patient is given a go-ahead to undergo the transplant procedure.

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