Aug 13 2013

Acute Myelofibrosis

Posted by Martin Smithmyer

Acute Myelofibrosis is a rare disorder where progressive scarring or fibrosis of the bone marrow impairs its ability to produce blood cells. This causes complications such as anemia, as well as liver and spleen enlargement. Some of the symptoms of acute myelofibrosis include: weakness, fatigue, night sweats, malaise, weight loss. The scarring or fibrosis of the bone marrow occurs because of the development of too many “megakaryocytes”, large abnormal blood cells, which break up into hundreds to thousands of platelets. Because of this a chemical called cytokines are released into the bone marrow. The cytokines stimulate the development of scar tissue in the marrow, and this stimulation of the scar tissue is called fibrosis.

One of the popular ways to treat the disease is with a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The stem cell transplant is almost always accompanied with chemotherapy. The chemotherapy destroys the damaged cells and cleans the body out of the cells that do not function properly. Then a stem cell transplant is performed so those cells that are deficient in the body are replenished using stem cells. Banking cord blood allows you to store hematopoietic stem cells for future use in the treatment of diseases like Acute Myelofibrosis.

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