Bone Marrow Transplant in Turkey

Last Modified: September 20, 2021  |   Created on: August 7, 2020
Blood Cancer, Blood Disorder, Cell Therapy, Transplants

Bone marrow transplantation, also known as Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, harvests stem cells from the bone marrow or blood and transfers them into the patient’s body. It helps treat blood and marrow diseases such as sickle cell anemia, Myelodysplasia, and cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma).


Bone Marrow Transplant in Turkey

In Turkey, bone marrow transplantation is available at hospitals in Istanbul, Ankara, Anatolia, Konya, and other major cities. The treatment is available for adult as well as pediatric patients performed by trained specialists. There are many reasons for choosing a bone marrow transplant hospital in Turkey, including:

  • First-rated medical services: The hospitals in Turkey are advanced healthcare centers with modern infrastructure and international standard clinical facilities. Several bone marrow transplant hospitals in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey are certified by Joint Commission International (JCI). Hospitals like Anadolu Medical Centre are associated with premier institutions such as John Hopkins Centre (USA). These hospitals have dedicated BMT units and abide by strict protocols to ensure the effective and successful treatment of the patient.
  • Qualified doctors: The team of doctors, including hematologists, hemato-oncologists, and other specialists (such as oncologists in case of cancer patients), work together to conduct bone marrow transplants based on the patient’s need. They are highly trained experts with vast knowledge and experience in the field. 
  • Low-cost treatment: The price of healthcare packages offered the Turkey hospitals are affordable compared to several other countries, especially the Western nations, but with no compromise on the quality of treatment. It is one of the prime factors that make Turkey a popular choice for medical travel worldwide. 
  • The success rate of BMT Turkey: The success rate of bone marrow transplantation in Turkey is at par with the best facilities worldwide. The experience of the doctors and high-end facilities at the hospitals ensure that the patients receive quality clinical care. They stringently follow the safety guidelines for post-operative care of the patient. The medical team conducts a series of pre-evaluation tests to reduce the possibility of rejection or other complications. 
  • Accessible location: Turkey is a country that has parts in two continents – Europe and Asia and is well-connected to the Middle East. It has a rich historical and cultural background, with several tourist attractions across the country. The international airport connects Turkey to all the major airlines of the world. The luxurious and budget-friendly hotels and accommodations are available all over Turkey. The country offers global cuisines as well as exotic street food to suit different palates.

Bone marrow transplant cost in Turkey 

The average cost for bone marrow transplant in Turkey is highly reasonable in contrast to cost of same treatment in various countries such as the USA, UK, Germany, Australia and many others. The price for packages of two primary types of BMT begin with:


Type of TransplantAutologous BMTAllogenic BMT
  Half Match (HLA testing <80%)Full Match (HLA testing >80%)
Cost50,000 USD – 60,000 USD80,000 USD – 110,000 USD75,000 USD – 85,000 USD
DonorNot RequiredRequired
Stay in Hospital25 – 35 Days1 Month
Stay in Country2 Months2 Months
Accommodation CostStarting 25 USD/DayStarting 25 USD/Day


The overall bone marrow transplant cost in Turkey varies depending on many factors, other than the type of BMT, which includes:

  • Choice of hospital: The location and accreditation of the hospitals can vary the price of packages they offer for the treatment.
  • Doctor’s experience in the filed and their expertise
  • Patient’s condition: The disease which patient suffers from and whether other modalities are needed for complete treatment
  • Length of stay at the hospital and in the country
  • Post-operative care needed
  • Room category at the hospital

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Bone marrow transplant: Overview

Bone marrow is the soft spongy tissue inside certain bones and is responsible for producing different types of blood cells in the body. 

There are primarily three types of blood cells: 

  • Red blood cells (erythrocytes): carries and transport oxygen through the blood to various parts of the body
  • White blood cells (leukocytes): involved in the defense of the body against external particles
  • Platelets: required for clotting of the blood. 

Hematopoietic stem cells are the progenitor cells responsible for producing all kinds of blood cells in the bone marrow. In addition, these stem cells can produce new stem cells or form immature cells that differentiate into various types of blood cells. Healthy stem cells are extracted and transferred in a bone marrow transplantation procedure. 

Although bone marrow is not the only source of stem cells used in bone marrow transplantation, it is still considered the best. Other sources include the umbilical cord and blood. Currently, stem cells derived from blood (after a specific stimulation process) are used in the procedure. 

Types of Bone marrow transplantation 

The patient’s diseased bone marrow is destroyed in a bone marrow transplant, and healthy stem cells are transplanted into the bloodstream. After a successful transplant, the new stem cells in the blood migrate to the bone marrow of the large bones to engraft and restore the production of normal blood cells.

Based on the source of stem cells, there are mainly two types of bone marrow transplantation procedures:


Autologous BMTAllogenic BMT
The donor and recipient of stem cells is the same individualThe donor and recipient of stem cells are two different people. They may be related or unrelated.
Minimal to no chances of immune rejectionThere is a significant chance of immune rejection
Risk of developing cancer after BMT is highRisk of developing cancer after BMT is low
Some stem cells can be cancerousAll stem cells will be cancer free
No need for immunosuppressionRequires immunosuppression
Time for engraftment is 7-10 daysTime for engraftment is 2-4 weeks

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Who needs a Bone marrow transplant?

Bone marrow transplantation helps below listed diseases:

  • Cancers of blood and marrow: Leukemia, Lymphoma (Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma), Multiple Myeloma
  • Aplastic anemia: a disorder in which the bone marrow does not produce adequate blood cells
  • Sickle cell anemia: an inherited blood disorder that forms sickle cell RBCs with reduced oxygen-binding capacity
  • Congenital neutropenia: an inherited condition that causes recurring infections
  • Thalassemia: a genetic disorder of the blood in which the body does not make adequate amounts of hemoglobin
  • Other diseases such as Myelodysplasia, Myelofibrosis, Neuroblastoma, Hemoglobinopathies, and more

Preparation before BMT

  • The doctor will conduct a series of detailed medical evaluations to determine the right treatment plan for the patient’s condition.
  • Comprehensive examinations and tests will be conducted if the doctor recommends a BMT. It is known as the preparation phase.
  • For autologous bone marrow transplants, certain drugs are used to increase the production of stem cells in the blood. It helps to ensure that an adequate number of stem cells are collected during this period.
  • A central venous catheter, which is a long and thin tube, is inserted into one of the major veins of the body. Medicines that stimulate the production of bone marrow cells are administered through a catheter.
  • Depending on the condition, the source of bone marrow cells is decided. 
  • The blood is processed through an apheresis device to isolate and collect stem cells from the blood when a patient’s own stem cells are used. 
  • For allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, stem cells can be harvested through the bone marrow, blood, or umbilical cord. 
  • If the bone marrow transplant is required to replace the bone marrow damaged by anti-cancer treatment, you will be placed on high-dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy. 
  • Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy at this stage may experience complications associated with these treatments. However, these complications are treated along with the treatment. 
  • Once the complications are eliminated, bone marrow transplantation is done in an immunosuppressed state of the body. 

Bone Marrow Transplant procedure

After the evaluation and selection of donor (for allogenic bone marrow), following basic steps for BMT are followed:

Stage Procedure Duration Type
Stage 1 – Collection of stem cells Administration of medicines that promote the cell count. The cells are collected through apheresis. 7-10 days Outpatient
Stage 2 – Transplant treatment Administration of chemotherapy or radiation therapy 5-10 days Can be inpatient or outpatient
Stage 3 – Infusion of stem cells Blood transfusions are done through a transplant catheter Several days Outpatient
Stage 4 – Recovery Follow-up care, medication, and therapy 2 weeks Outpatient

Risks and complications of Bone Marrow Transplant

A bone marrow transplant is a major medical procedure that involves certain potential risk and complications. The chances of developing complications will depend on several factors, such as:

  • Patient’s age
  • Patient’s overall health
  • Disease that is being treated
  • Type of transplant that has been received

Some possible side effects of transplant include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache 
  • Nausea 
  • Pain 
  • Breathlessness 
  • Chills 
  • Fever 

These symptoms are typically short-term, but a bone marrow transplant can cause some long-term complications, ranging from mild or very serious. These include:

  • Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD): a condition in which donor blood cells attack the body
  • Graft failure: occurs when the transplanted cells don’t produce new blood cells 
  • Bleeding in other parts of the body such as the lungs and brain
  • Cataracts: characterized by clouding in the eye lens 
  • Damage to vital organs of the body
  • Infertility and early menopause
  • Anaemia: occurs when the body is unable to produce enough amounts of red blood cells
  • Infections 
  • Mucositis: a condition which causes inflammation and soreness in the mouth, throat, and stomach

Diet and other lifestyle factors after Bone Marrow Transplant 

After a bone marrow transplant, the patient receives a specific diet and lifestyle tips to stay healthy and maintain weight. The transplant team will work with the dietician and nutritionist to create a balanced diet plan to meet necessary post-transplant needs. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Follow the food safety guidelines
  • Eating a range of vegetables and fruits and having whole grains, lean meats, fish, poultry, legumes, and healthy fats
  • Restrict salt intake
  • Limit alcohol
  • Avoid grapefruit due to their effect on a group of immunosuppressive medications 
  • Regular physical activity to control weight, strengthen the bones, increase endurance, and strengthen the muscles. 

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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)

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