How much does a bone marrow transplant cost
- What is bone marrow transplant?
- Types of stem cell transplants for cancer treatment
- Tests and imaging before a stem cell transplant
- Where is better to carry out transplant?
- Bone marrow transplant price comparisement
- What influences the price of bone marrow transplant?
- Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Germany
- Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Turkey
- Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Italy
- Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Israel
- Cost of a bone marrow transplant in India
- Cost of a bone marrow transplant in USA
- Why is bone marrow transplant so expensive?
- Bone marrow transplant cost with insurance
What is bone marrow transplant?
A bone marrow transplant (or stem cell transplant, or HCT - hematopoietic cell transplantation) is a procedure in which damaged bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow stem cells. This complex procedure is performed as main part of treatment for certain types of cancers. BMT is used in case of leukemia (blood cancer), to restore stem cells destroyed by chemotherapy and for patients with sickle cell anemia or other blood diseases.
Bone marrow transplant (BMT) is a method of treating hematologic and autoimmune pathologies. It is a remedy for people of all ages suffering from variants of lymphoma, myeloma and immune deficiency.
The human bone marrow consists of pluripotent stem cells that are the predecessors of blood cells. Lifeblood is composed of leukocytes, erythrocytes and platelets. Leukocytes protect our organism from infectious agents, erythrocytes transport oxygen, and platelets control blood coagulation. In case of a bone marrow malfunction, the number of stem cells either increases, which leads to leukemia, or reduces - develops aplastic anemia. Urgent bone marrow transplant (or hematopoietic cell transplantation) is the main option for the patient’s convalescence.
Tests and imaging before a stem cell transplant
Pre-transplant evaluation includes a variety of medical tests that provide complete information about patients overall health. Patients may undergo the following tests/procedures:
- Echocardiogram or MUGA scan and EKG;
- Chest and sinus x-rays;
- Pulmonary function test (PFT);
- 24-hour urine collection;
- Blood tests (including screening for infectious diseases);
- Imaging studies (PET, CT, MRI scans);
- Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy;
- Psychosocial evaluation;
- HLA (human leukocyte antigen) typing (needed for allogeneic patients only).
Before the procedure, following pre-transplant tests, a patient will begin a process known as conditioning. During which they will undergo chemotherapy (or radiation therapy) to destroy cancer cells and suppress the immune system so that the body won't reject the transplanted stem cells.
Cost of tests and imaging before a stem cell transplant may vary between $1,500 and $10,000 depending on amount and complexity of procedures.
Types of stem cell transplants for cancer treatment
There are 3 types of bone marrow transplants:
- autologous - when a person receives his(her) own hematopoietic cells; this type is used mainly in patients with malignancies that do not affect the bone marrow;
- allogeneic from a related donor - BMT with the use of a bone marrow from a relative donor;
- allogeneic from an unrelated donor - bone marrow is taken from the Bank of Donors. Special blood analyzes can accurately determine histocompatibility of a donor and recipient.
Where is better to carry out transplant?
Patients are often concerned about what country, which clinic is better to carry out a bone marrow transplant. There is no definite answer, because the selection of the hospital is affected by a number of circumstances. Today we can identify leading clinics for BMT. These are the greatest medical centers of Germany, Turkey, India, Israel, Italy and the United States.
Zeeshan Zaman, Senior Physician-Coordinator of the International Patients Support Center Bookimed.
Bookimed Center has brought key medical centers for bone marrow transplant together. We provide you with the full information about the specifics of treatment in each of the selected countries and have answers to all your questions.
Bone marrow transplant price comparisement
Doctors-Coordinators of Bookimed International Patients Support Center help people from different countries to find the best clinic and a highly-qualified hematologist for bone marrow transplant.
Bookimed accompanies you at every stage of treatment and takes care of all the arrangements with the selected medical institution regarding BMT. Bookimed acts as a guarantor of fair financial relationship between a patient and a clinic. We validate all the checks from a clinic for compliance with initially declared and the volume of provided services. This means a patient has no financial relationship with Bookimed.
What influences price of bone marrow transplant?
The following factors shape the cost of bone marrow transplants:
- The type of illness that requires a transplant;
- Stage of disease in a patient;
- Presence of comorbidities and complications;
- The opted form of BMT;
- Pricing policy of the clinics, where the manipulation is performed.
Why is bone marrow transplant so expensive?
BMT is a highly specialized, resource intensive and costly medical procedure. The total costs of a stem cell transplant depend on whether the procedure is autologous (patient's own marrow or stem cells) or allogeneic (cells, harvested from a donor). Increased costs are significantly associated with age, use of donors other than matched siblings and advanced disease.
Transplants usually more expensive and associated with more hospitalized days in patients younger 20 years (pediatric patients).
For example, pediatric patients had 1.6 times higher median total costs and expenses for outpatient care compared with adult recipients of allogeneic HCT for acute leukemia. The median total duration of hospitalization was 43 days vs 30 days, respectively. (according to “Costs of Autologous and Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the United States: A Study Using a Large National Private Claims Database”)
In general, the costs are greater among pediatric recipients and this difference is more pronounced with allogeneic HCT. An allogeneic bone marrow transplant typically costs 40% more than the total cost for an autologous transplant. This increased cost is due to price for finding a donor, donors testings, placing under general anesthesia and admitting a donor to an operating room so that bone marrow can be collected.
The major factors contributing to the cost are also related to the post-transplant complications which are also the reasons for the increased stay in a hospital.
a) infections (bacterial, fungal and viral);
b) admission to the intensive care units or ventilator support;
d) Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD is a condition that occurs when donor bone marrow or stem cells attack the recipient).
Bone marrow transplant cost with insurance
For patients covered by health insurance, the out-of-pocket costs for a bone marrow transplant typically consist of doctor visit, lab and prescription drug copays as well as coinsurance of 10%-50% for surgery. Most health insurance plans cover all or part of the total cost, which includes preliminary testing, the collection and delivery of stem cells, the surgery itself and post-operative recovery costs. The costs can vary depending on region and hospital.
Personal expenses associated with bone marrow transplants, such as food and lodging expenses incurred when a patient and his or her family moves to be closer to a transplant center, are not covered by insurance.