STEM cell is a boon towards modern medical research. You name almost any ailment, you may find stem cell therapy as your friend to rescue. But are you aware of the fact that there may arise severe complications after you have undergone a stem cell transplant?
Post stem cell transplant complications arise mainly due to immunological problems. There occurs a mismatch in the donor and recipient’s genetic makeup (HLA mismatch), which makes the recipient treat the donor cells as foreign bodies (antigens) against which antibodies are produced. This leads to an array of complications.
Early complications usually occur within 5 to 10 days and include:
* Mouth sores.
* Hair loss.
* Bleeding, because of severe reduction in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
* Nausea and vomiting.
* Infection, such as pneumonia, shingles, or herpes simplex.
Other possible complications include:
* Kidney, lung, and heart complications.
* Recurrence of the disease that the transplant was used to treat.
* Other cancers.
Serious, long-term complications include:
* Graft failure. The new stem cells do not work, or they work for a short time and then fail. If this occurs, the likelihood of a cure is low.
* Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The new stem cells attack other cells in your body. If it happens within 3 months, it is called acute GVHD. If it happens after 3 months, it is called chronic GVHD. After chronic GVHD develops, it may take as long as 3 years to go away. GVHD affects the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and liver. It can cause death. GVHD is treated with medicine that lowers the activity of your immune system. GVHD does not occur when an identical twin is the donor.
* Veno-occlusive disease. This is a serious liver problem caused by the high dose of chemotherapy or radiation given before a transplant. Symptoms include swelling and tenderness of the liver, weight gain, jaundice, and fluid buildup in the belly.
* Infections related to fungal, bacterial and viral attacks.
Apart from these common chronic attacks, post stem cell transplantation also give rise to complications in different parts of our body which include heart, nervous system, repiratory system, gastrointestinal system and blood.
This is an outcome of stem cell transplant that affects heart. Development of congestive heart failures or percardiatitis after receiving high-dose cyclophosphamide, radiation, or other intensive chemotherapy regimens prior to the transplant.
Due to high dosing of cyclosporin A to treat GVHD, radiations and other intensive chemotherapy regimens it leads to severity such as brain damage and nervous infections.
The following are the disease that results due to stem cell transplant:
- Chronic granulomatous diseases
- Immunodeficiency diseases caused by defects in NADPH oxidase ( an enzyme)
- Recurrent life threatening bacterial and fungal infections
- Alveolar hemorrhage
- Viral and fungal pneumonia
- Idiopathic pneumonia syndrome
- Constitutive bronchiolitis
It has been reported that 28.8% die of respiratory complication after stem cell transplant.
Gastro-intestinal complications range from :
- Pseudomembranous enterocolitis
- Viral enteritis
- Benign pneumatosis intestinalis
- Intestinal thrombotic angiopathy
- Post transplantational lymphoproliferative diseases
Therefore, researchers are working hard to develop drugs to fight back these side effects. Even doctors are trying to minimise these by several procedures some like recommending antibiotics and remedies to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Thus in order to make stem cell transplants effective in application getting rid off these complications are absolutely necessary because who wants a cure which may give rise to any other ailments?
Although these diseases might be coming up to you with beast like appearance, but nothing to worry as such because most of the diseases are now been combated successfully but more researches are still required. So hoping for the best for stem cell therapy to deliver for making a better tomorrow.