Autologous HSCT requires the extraction (apheresis) of haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) from the patient and storage of the harvested cells in a freezer. In the case of cancer the patient is then treated with high-dose chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy with the intention of eradicating the patient’s malignant cell population at the cost of partial or complete bone marrow ablation (destruction of patient’s bone marrow’s ability to grow new blood cells). The patient’s own stored stem cells are then transfused into his/her bloodstream, where they replace destroyed tissue and resume the patient’s normal blood cell production. Autologous transplants have the advantage of lower risk of infection during the immune-compromised portion of the treatment since the recovery of immune function is rapid. Also, the incidence of patients experiencing rejection (and graft-versus-host disease is impossible) is very rare due to the donor and recipient being the same individual. These advantages have established autologous HSCT as one of the standard second-line treatments for such diseases as lymphoma.
However, for other cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia, the reduced mortality of the autogenous relative to allogeneic HSCT may be outweighed by an increased likelihood of cancer relapse and related mortality, and therefore the allogeneic treatment may be preferred for those conditions.Researchers have conducted small studies using non-myeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as a possible treatment for type I (insulin dependent) diabetes in children and adults. Results have been promising; however, as of 2009 it was premature to speculate whether these experiments will lead to effective treatments for diabetes.
Now in 2016 since 2009, many changes have been made concerning autologus cell transplantation concerning Type 1 diabetes.
Advances in stem cell therapy research have made great strides in addressing many potential uses.