Stem cell transplantation is the replacement of damaged
bone marrow cells with healthy cells, or stem cells. It is generally done after
powerful drugs have been used to wipe out the damaged immune system
Stem cells are immature cells that are produced
in the bone marrow. They can divide to produce more stem cells or mature into
red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. In an experimental
procedure, a small number of people with
lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) have
successfully been treated with their own stem cells.1
It is possible that the main title of the report Lupus is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Stem cell transplantation has serious
risks. After a person's stem cells have been collected from the bloodstream,
they are returned to the bloodstream along with a stem cell growth factor. If
successful, the stem cells help the bone marrow return to a healthy state.
However, during the two weeks that the
immune system requires to become strong again, the
body is extremely vulnerable to life-threatening infection.
Although several people have been disease-free at about 25 months after
stem cell transplantation, this procedure is considered a high-risk, expensive,
and experimental treatment for lupus.1