Bone marrow stem cells are adult stem cells that have become a key element in treating blood disorders. But why does this type of stem cell work best for this purpose? You might also be wondering about how bone marrow stem cells have contributed to treatment. Let’s find out!
Bone Marrow Stem Cells | 7 Things You Might Want To Know
1. What Are Bone Marrow Stem Cells?
As the name suggests, bone marrow stem cells are found in a person’s bone marrow. Furthermore, the bone marrow is among the primary sources of stem cells. These stem cells have the capacity to differentiate into other types of cells. Given this, bone marrow stem cells are often sought as a replacement for umbilical cord stem cells. Bone marrow stem cells are defined and differentiated from other types of stem cells in one of our previous articles.
2. Are Bone Marrow And Stem Cells The Same Thing?
Bone marrow and stem cells are not one and the same. Bone marrow is defined as a spongy material found in our bones that contain stem cells. Stem cells, on the other hand, are undifferentiated cells that have the potential to develop into different cells. Furthermore, stem cells are taken from the bone marrow in order to replace destroyed cells with normal and healthy cells. However, it is important to note that the bone marrow is not our sole source of stem cells. Read this article for more information about the several different common sources of stem cells.
3. What Can Bone Marrow Stem Cells Become?
Stem cells are useful in the field of medicine due to their potential. Moreover, stem cells are very young and undifferentiated cells. Due to this, these cells are capable of developing into several different types of cells. Bone marrow stem cells, in particular, have the capacity to differentiate into different types of blood cells. This type of stem cell is categorized as an adult stem cell. Given this, bone marrow stem cells can both self-renew as well as differentiate into specialized and mature cells. For more information, check out this article about adult stem cells!
4. What Are Bone Marrow Stem Cells Used For?
Bone marrow stem cells are often involved in transplant procedures for cancer patients. To be more specific, treatment methods for blood disorders such as leukemia and lymphoma have found great success through the incorporation of bone marrow stem cells in their procedures. This success is due to the ability of bone marrow stem cells to differentiate into different blood cells which form the different components of blood. You can refer to this article for more specifics about the bone marrow transplant procedure.
5. Where Are Bone Marrow Stem Cells Found?
Bone marrow stem cells are harvested from bone marrow. Doctors extract the bone marrow stem cells from the donor often through a procedure performed on either the thigh or hip bone. The procedure can be quite uncomfortable on the part of the donor. For more information about bone marrow stem cell donation, you can consult the National Marrow Donor Program‘s website.
6. How Does Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Work?
In essence, a bone marrow stem cell transplant helps the body regenerate cells. Given this, physicians often administer this procedure following cycles of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The procedures purge the body of both cancer cells and healthy cells which is why regeneration is necessary. However, there are many adverse risks and side effects of this procedure. For more information about bone marrow transplant procedures, check out this article on Cancer.gov.
7. Why Are Bone Marrow Stem Cells Important?
Bone marrow stem cells are undifferentiated cells capable of maturing into different types of blood cells. Given this, these stem cells are crucial to the normal functioning of the body due to how these maintain a constant supply of blood cells. Because of this function, bone marrow stem cell transplants have become a crucial component of treating certain blood diseases. Introducing new bone marrow stem cells into the body encourages the regeneration of blood cells as mentioned in this article on Cancer.net.
Watch this video by Siti Masrina Sulong to understand how bone marrow stem cells work:
Knowing about bone marrow stem cells is essential when considering a bone marrow transplant procedure. In addition to researching on bone marrow stem cells, it is also important that you maintain a proper line of communication between yourself and your doctor. If you found this article to be helpful, check out this Stem Cell Researchers article that focuses on the side effects of stem cell transplants.
Got more questions about bone marrow stem cells? Ask away in the comments section below!