Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India

“Bone marrow transplant cost in India starts from USD 15,000 (INR 10,86,000) for autologous bone marrow transplant and USD 22,000 (INR 15,60,000) for allogeneic bone marrow transplant. The bone marrow transplant hospitals in India promise unparalleled health treatments at low-cost packages.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India

The following table indicates details about Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India:

Type of Transplant Autologous BMT Allogenic BMT
Full Match (HLA testing >80%) Half Match (HLA testing <80%)
Cost USD 15,000 USD 22,000 USD 40,000
Donor Not Required Required
Chemo Required Required
Stay in Hospital 25 – 35 Days 1 Month
Stay in Country 2 Months 2 Months
Lodging Cost Starting 20 USD/Day Starting 20 USD/Day

Pre-transplant tests for BMT in India

Type of  TestList of testsType of transplantPatient and Donor
Blood tests

HLA – Crossmatch and Typing

Infectious disease screening for HIV, Hepatitis, etc. 

Organ function tests, including CBC, ABO blood typing, etc.

Allogeneic BMT

Autologous/ Allogeneic BMT

Autologous/ Allogeneic BMT

Yes

Yes


Yes

Heart function tests 

Electro cardiogram

Echo cardiogram

Autologous/ Allogeneic BMTYes
Pulmonary function tests

Spirometry test

Lung volume tests

Lung diffusion capacity

Pulse oximetry

Autologous/ Allogeneic BMTYes
Other tests

PET Scan

CT Scan

Autologous/ Allogeneic BMTYes
Bone marrow testsBone marrow biopsyAutologous/ Allogeneic BMTYes

What are the factors that affect Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India?

In India, the price of a bone marrow transplant typically ranges from Rs. 11,00,000 – Rs. 40,00,000 lakh rupees. This price covers all associated costs, such as those for the transplant procedure, hospital stay, lab testing, medications, and other expenses.  The overall Bone marrow transplant cost in India also depends on the following factors:

  • The severity of the patient’s condition
  • Type of transplant required
  • Location, type, and clinical infrastructure of the hospital
  • Duration of hospital stay
  • The expertise and fee of the surgeon
  • Diagnostic and other laboratory tests

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What is a Bone marrow transplant?

Bone marrow is a soft tissue present inside the bones consisting of stem cells that produce WBCs, RBCs, and platelets. Under certain conditions like cancer, these stem cells lose their ability to produce normal and healthy blood cells.

A bone marrow transplant replaces the diseased or non-functional bone marrow with healthy stem cells. These stem cells can be derived from the patient’s body or a full-match or half-match donor. In a few cases, these stem cells can also come from the cord blood cells preserved at the time of the patient’s birth.

Types of Bone Marrow Transplants in India

Inforgraphics-Autologous-BTM

Autologous Transplant:

Autologous bone marrow transplants the healthy stem cells derived from the patient back into their body. The stem cells are collected through apheresis, purified, and stored for future use. Meanwhile, the patient begins with their chemo or radiation therapy treatment. These therapies destroy the non-functional and sometimes a part of the functional bone marrow as well. Once the therapy is completed, the stem cells are transplanted back into the patient’s body through an intravenous catheter.

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.

Who can be the donor for Bone Marrow Transplant?

An individual is eligible to become a BMT donor if they are histocompatible with the patient. This means that their genetic makeup closely resembles that of the patient. Generally, a matching donor is from the immediate family, a child, a sister or brother, or a parent.

However, a patient can also get the best match through an unrelated donor. A cent-percent match is not necessary, but a close match for a positive outcome is indispensable.

The ideal BMT donor should:

  • Be between 18 and 44 years of age
  • Not have a BMI more than 35 and less than 18
  • Not suffer from any mental illness
  • Not suffer from any neurological disease
  • Not suffer from chronic heart or lung conditions
  • Not suffer from diabetes
  • Not suffer from any blood disorder
  • Not suffer from infections such as HIV, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, etc.
  • Not be pregnant 

Becoming a BMT Donor in India

  • If an individual decides to donate their bone marrow or stem cells (Both for a related or unrelated patient/recipient), they will have to undergo a comprehensive evaluation with a doctor to check their eligibility.
  • The donor will be informed about the risks and complications associated with the procedure and inquired about their medical history. This will include a series of tests to screen possible genetic or infectious diseases. 
  • If the doctor deems the donor to be eligible for donation, they will undergo an HLA typing test to check the histocompatibility with the patient. 
  • There are two ways through which stem cells can be extracted from the donor’s body. These include:

Type of Donation

Bone Marrow Donation

Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation

What does it involve?

The donor will undergo a surgery that will require an overnight hospital stay. The surgeon will insert a needle in the posterior region of the pelvic bone and aspirate a portion of the marrow. The surgery will be performed under anesthesia.

This type of donation is done as an outpatient procedure. The donor will be administered injections starting a few days before the procedure to promote stem cell number in the blood. On the day of the procedure, a catheter will draw blood out of the patient’s vein (usually arm), circulate it in a machine, and send it back into the patient’s body. The machine filters out stem cells from the blood and this process is called as apheresis.

Time taken for the donation

1 to 2 Hours

2 Hours (May require more sittings, depending on the number of stem cells required by the patient.) 

Recovery 

3 to 4 Weeks

7 to 14 Days

Risks or Complications

Soreness in the treated area and difficulty in walking for a few days.

Bone pain, Muscle ache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, and infection (in rare instances).

 

What does a BMT procedure in India involve?

Before the procedure

  • The procedure to undergo BMT in India begins with a thorough physical evaluation, including routine blood tests and functional analysis of the heart, lungs, and liver.
  • These tests help the doctor to decide the patient’s eligibility for the procedure.
  • If the patient is fit for a bone marrow transplant, the doctor will discuss the possible options they have.
  • This will also include finding a suitable donor if the patient can’t undergo an autologous transplant. 
  • A few days before the surgery, the patient will be required to visit the hospital to get an intravenous catheter implanted into a vein in the neck or the chest.
  • This catheter will stay put during the treatment to infuse transplanted stem cells and medication into the patient’s body. 

During the procedure

1. Collection of stem cells

The process of BMT begins with the first and most essential step – The collection of stem cells. Stem cells can come from two sources; the patient’s own body or stem cells obtained from a suitable donor. The collection of stem cells takes place in the following ways. 
  • Autologous transplant
  • The patient will receive a daily dose of injections that will stimulate stem cell production at a faster and higher rate.
  • These injections contain growth factors that supplement stem cell formation and differentiation. 
  • After a few days, the patient will visit the hospital for a process known as ‘apheresis.’ 
  • Apheresis is a technique to draw blood from the patient’s body, circulate it in a specialized machine, separate stem cells from the blood, and finally, direct the blood back to the patient. 
  • The collected stem cells are purified and frozen for further use. 
  • Allogeneic transplant
  • The stem cells from an allogeneic source can be collected in two different ways – through apheresis or surgery. 
  • The doctor will suggest the option that works best for the donor as well as the patient. 
  • If the doctor advises apheresis, the donor will undergo a similar procedure listed above.
  • But, if the doctor deems surgery to be a more suitable choice, the donor will have to undergo one. 

2. Conditioning

  • The next step requires a patient to go through a process called conditioning to prepare their body for transplant.
  • During conditioning, they will undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A person may undergo chemotherapy, radiation, or have a combination of both these treatments during their conditioning. This plays a vital role in:
  1. Destroying cancer or diseased cells in the body as a treatment modality for the underlying condition.
  2. Suppressing the immune system (to allow it to accept the transplant cells)
  3. Preparing the bone marrow for the new stem cells
  • The type and amount of conditioning the patient receives depends on several factors, including the target disease, their overall health, and the type of bone marrow transplant

3. Reduced-intensity conditioning

  • The top bone marrow transplant hospitals in India offer this kind of conditioning for some patients. 
  • The reduced-intensity conditioning process involves the use of lower doses or different types of chemotherapy or radiation during the treatment. 
  • The doctor will recommend reduced-intensity conditioning based on the patient’s age and overall health status.
  • This conditioning will destroy some diseased cells and suppress the immune system to prevent chances of rejection. 

4. Bone marrow transplant

  • 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.
  • For the transplant, a central line is used to transfer the collected stem cells into the recipient’s body. 
  • 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 complications.
  • Sometimes, extra fluids are also given to flush the preservatives out of the body.
  • 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 the stem cells reach the bone marrow, they become established 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.

After the procedure

  • As the new stem cells are transplanted into the patient’s body, they will gradually reach the bone marrow via blood.
  • With time, these stem cells differentiate and start producing different types of blood cells.
  • This process is called engraftment and can take anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks.
  • During this period, the patient will remain susceptible to multiple risks and complications, including:
  1. Infections 
  2. Mucositis or Mouth sores
  3. Veno-Occlusive Disease of the Liver (VOD)
  4. Interstitial Pneumonia Syndrome (IPS)
  5. Graft-versus-Host Disease
  6. Graft Failure
  7. Cataracts
  8. Infertility
  9. New cancers

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.

Graft-Vs-Host Disease (GVHD) in Bone Marrow Transplant

  • This condition is a potential risk that may occur anytime after the transplant, especially in allogeneic bone marrow transplants.
  • GVHD occurs when the new donor stem cells that grow and rebuild the patient’s new immune system identify the body’s tissues and organs as foreign agents and start to 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. 

GVHD can be classified into two categories:

  • 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, diarrhea, or an increase in liver enzymes.
  • Chronic GVHD: This usually develops sometime later and may affect several organs. The signs and symptoms that indicate chronic GVHD include:
  1. Pain in the joint or muscle 
  2. Breathlessness
  3. A persistent cough
  4. Changes in the vision, such as dry eyes
  5. Scarring or stiffness on the skin 
  6. Yellow pigmentation on the skin or whites of eyes – jaundice 
  7. Dry mouth or Mouth sores
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Nausea and vomiting
  • As a solution to GVHD, the doctor will prescribe certain immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids to provide relief from the symptoms.
  • The choice and length of treatment depend on the type of condition – acute or chronic.
  • Patients with GVHD may undergo treatment for almost a year or more, depending on their response to therapy.

Life after bone marrow transplant in India

A bone marrow transplant can help cure a variety of conditions or push them into remission. In both cases, the patient can expect improvement in the quality of life and high life expectancy rates.

However, the results of a bone marrow transplant can be different for each patient. This usually depends on the type of disease and the age & general health of the patient.

Recovery

  • The patient will stay under close observation and care for at least one week in the hospital. The duration of hospital stay will depend on the severity of the patient’s condition and general health. 
  • Once the patient’s health is stabilized, the doctor will allow the patient to leave the hospital under the care of a medical attendant. The patient, in this case, should have a stable RBC and platelet count and should not be suffering from any fever. 
  • The doctor will advise the patient to find temporary accommodation near the hospital for a few weeks to months after the transplant. This helps them to have better control over the anticipated risks and complications associated with BMT. 
  • The patient will also need periodic RBC and platelet transfusions until the newly transplanted bone marrow starts producing sufficient levels of such cells on its own.
  • The recovery period will also require the patient to attend regular follow-ups with the doctor that can last for a few weeks, months, to even years. 

Aftercare

  • The aftercare routine aims to control the side effects of not only the transplant but also the chemo/radiation therapy. 
  • The most essential step in the aftercare of BMT is compliance with the post-procedure instructions as well as regular intake of prescribed medicines. 
  • These medications help to control the side effects of the treatments and reduce the chance of immune rejection. 
  • Apart from this, the patient will also be expected to make certain changes in their diet and overall lifestyle. These often include:
  1. Observe food safety procedures to prevent foodborne infections.
  2. Follow a healthy, balanced, and all-inclusive diet composed of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry, legumes, whole grains, olive oil, etc.
  3. Limit the intake of dietary salt.
  4. Avoid smoking or alcohol.
  5. Avoid going to crowded places to minimize chances of infection
  6. Follow an active lifestyle that promotes weight control, strengthened bones, increased endurance, and healthy muscles. 
  7. Wear sunscreen whenever stepping outside.
  8. Get regular screenings for cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about BMT in India

Q. What are the types of bone marrow transplants?

There are three standard types of bone marrow transplants.

  • Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant – With an autologous bone marrow transplant the patient’s own stem cells are collected prior to the patient undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. The stem cells are frozen and returned to the patient’s body after their treatments are over.
  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplant – Allogeneic transplants involve the moving of stem cells from a donor to the patient. Tests are performed to ensure that the stem cells are a close enough match to reduce the risk of rejection.
  • Umbilical cord blood – Stem cells are removed from an umbilical cord immediately after a baby’s birth. The stem cells are stored in the deep freeze until they are needed. Because the umbilical stem cells are less mature, they have a greater ability to diversify, and the need for a perfect match is reduced.

 Q. Are bone marrow transplants safe?

As with any medical procedure, a bone marrow transplant has some risks some minor and others serious. The possible risks should be discussed with your physician so that you can make an informed decision on the benefits versus the risks of the procedure. Some of the possible risks include:

  • Graft vs. Host disease – This complication is only seen with allogeneic transplants. If the donor cells used are not compatible with the donor lymphocytes may begin to attack the patient’s cells and tissues. Graft-vs.-host is a serious complication that can be life-threatening.
  • Stem cell (graft) failure – When the patient’s body rejects the new stem cells it is called graft failure. It is a rare side effect that occurs most often when the donor and patient are a poor match or when the number of stem cells transplanted is low. Graft failure can lead to bleeding and infections.
  • Organ damage – The radiation and chemotherapy used prior to transplantation can cause organ damage as can post-transplant side effects such as Graft-vs-Host. Organ damage can usually be reversed if it is detected and treated early.
  • Infections – prior to the transplant, radiation and/or chemotherapy is used to eradicate abnormal and damaged cells. Until the new bone marrow begins making new blood cells the patient is extremely susceptible to infection.
  • Cataracts – The development of cataracts, clouding of the eyes, is a possible side effect of bone marrow transplants that involve total body radiation.
  • Infertility – Infertility is a common side effect of bone marrow transplant due to the high levels of radiation and chemotherapy that proceed with the transplant.
  • New Cancers – Due to the high levels of chemotherapy and radiation that the body is exposed to prior to a bone marrow transplant there is a risk of the patient developing secondary cancers. There is also a risk of abnormal lymphocyte growth following allogeneic transplants.
  • Death – The extreme radiation and chemotherapy that precedes a bone marrow transplant is hard on the body as is the transplant itself. The procedure can lead to life-threatening side effects and damage.

Q. How long can you live after a bone marrow transplant?

  • The life expectancy following a bone marrow transplant depends on several factors including the disease that is being treated, the type of bone marrow transplant and the age and overall health of the patient prior to treatment.
  • The majority of patients who do not develop complications from the bone marrow transplant have a good chance of resuming a normal life.
  • Patients who have passed the five-year mark without a relapse of the disease live, on average, a further 15 years.

Q. What is the success rate of a bone marrow transplant for sickle cell disease?

New methods of transplantation and treatment of complications have greatly increased the success rate in sickle cell cases. The success rate of curing sickle cell disease with a bone marrow transplant is over 85% percent in children and over 62% in adults. The greatest risks to restored health are complications related to the bone marrow transplant.

Q. How long does it take to recover from a bone marrow transplant?

The road to recovery following a bone marrow transplant is unique for everyone. A patient’s age, type of transplant, and overall health prior to treatment can all affect the length of recovery.

In general, patients report that they are slowly returning to a normal routine a year following the procedure. Your doctors will monitor your progress in the months, and sometimes years, following the transplant to deal with any complications and to determine the success of the treatment.

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 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.

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, leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma, thalassemia, 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.

Q. What are the classes of stem cells?

There are two classes of stem cells. These may be pluripotent or multipotent.
Simran Bahia

Written By Simran Bahia

Simran Bahia is an experienced content writer with extensive research experience in Immunology and Reproductive Biology. Simran received her Bachelors in Life Sciences from Delhi University, followed by a Master's in Immunology from the Amity Institute of Virology and Immunology. Combining her love for science and writing, Simran enjoys putting a spin on standard methods of medical writing.

Best Bone Marrow Transplant Surgeons in India 

The country boasts of stringent infection control regulations, experienced surgeons, multi-facilitated hospitals and advanced treatment facilities. List of some famous bone marrow transplant doctors in India:

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