BSIP BOUCHARLAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP BOUCHARLAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bone marrow transplant: surgical team preparing a patient to donate some of his bone marrow, to be used as a graft (a transplant) for the treatment of life-threatening forms of anaemia & leukaemia. Compatible marrow is sucked up through large-bore needles from punctures made into the iliac crests, the ridges of bone on top of the pelvis. Harvested marrow is filtered & prepared for infusion into the recipient's bloodstream, after they have undergone pre-transplant conditioning by chemotherapy or whole body irradiation. This is necessary to destroy any active leukaemia cells & disable the immune system & thus prevent rejection of the grafted marrow.
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