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How much does a bone marrow transplant cost

30.08.2016
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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.

"When we select the clinic for bone marrow transplant, we pay special attention to the selection of the physicians and grade of medicine in general. We appeal to those entities that cooperate with the World Bank of Donors, and choose those professionals in this medical field that we are 100% sure about. In addition, we consider the hospital level of service, because BMT demands strict adherence to hygiene and sanitation measures."


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.

Bookimed Doctors-Coordinators have already helped 21 patients to successfully undergo a BMT procedure abroad.

Bone marrow transplant price comparisement

India

Turkey

Italy

Spain

Germany

Autologous BMT

$ 30,000

$ 55,000

€ 66,000

€ 95,000

€ 100,000

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.

Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Germany - Essen University Hospital

Germany

Essen Medical Center is prominent not only in Germany but also far beyond its borders. The hospital is located in the town of Essen in Western Germany. The profile of the Essen Clinic includes over 20 branches: oncology, hematology, gynecology, cardiology, surgery, etc.

The quality of German medicine can not be questioned and this affects the price formation. Essen Hospital, as well as all medical facilities in Germany, works on the terms of deposit, i.e. a patient should put the money on the clinic deposit prior to treatment. After that, the hospital sends an official visa invitation.

Bone marrow transplant cost in Germany:

Autologous BMT

€100,000 — €130,000

Allogeneic BMT from a related donor

€150,000 — €220,000

Allogeneic BMT from an unrelated donor

€250,000

Coordinators of Bookimed Center assist in the organization of the academic medical care in the Essen Clinic. We arrange a consultation and support the early holding of BMT. Bookimed guarantees you a fair financial relationship with the hospital and the high level of competence of Essen doctors

Get treatment program from German clinics

Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Turkey — Medipol University Hospital

Turkey

Medipol University Hospital iis located in Istanbul, Turkey. This is a private medical network of 4 hospitals. Medipol includes several Turkey's top clinics which possess the JCI international accreditation.

Medipol Turkish clinic has gained recognition thanks to the professionalism of the doctors, high success rate in bone marrow transplant (over 92%), convenient geographical location and affordable pricing policy. In addition, the hospital is tooled with the latest technical facilities.

Fatma Deniz Sargin, a professor with 35 years of experience, carries bone marrow transplant in Medipol. She is the most influential hematologist in the country. On Deniz Sargin’s record there are hundreds of successful hematopoietic cell transplants.

Bone marrow transplant cost in Turkey:

Autologous BMT

$50,000

Allogeneic BMT from a related donor

$70,000 — $80,000

Allogeneic BMT from an unrelated donor

$135,000

You can apply for a consultation with Prof. Deniz Sargin or other expert of Turkish clinic with the help of the Bookimed Doctor-Coordinator. We have the ability to arrange diagnostics and BMT procedure in Medipol Hospital for you as soon as possible.

Get a treatment program from Turkish clinics

Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Italy — Ospedale San Raffaele

Over 350 bone marrow transplants are performed at the Department of Oncohematology annually. Ospedale San Raffaele is situated in Milan and cooperates with international bone marrow donor banks.

All procedures regarding bone marrow transplantation are conducted under the supervision of the Head of the Department Prof. Fabio Ciceri. He is an onco-hematologist with 30 years of experience and one of the most authoritative experts in this field.

Bone marrow transplant cost in Italy:

Autologous BMT

€65,000

Allogeneic BMT from a related donor

€80,000 — €119,000

Allogeneic BMT from an unrelated donor

€152,000

Get a treatment program from Italian clinic

Cost of a bone marrow transplant in India — Fortis Clinic

India

Fortis Network of Medical Institutions is well-known throughout Asia. It comprises 62 clinics, most of which are situated on the territory of India. Fortis Healthcare is accredited by several international organizations, including JCI certification.

In the Fortis Clinic bone marrow transplant is carried out by well-qualified doctors. Hematology Department is headed by Doctor Vinod Raina. Over the past 20 years he accomplished more than 600 bone marrow transplants, 250 of which were allogeneic. India offers patients the most affordable prices on BMT.

Bone marrow transplant cost in India:

Autologous BMT

$30,000

Allogeneic BMT from a related donor

$47,000 — $50,000

Allogeneic BMT from an unrelated donor

$70,000

Important notice: Indian hospitals do not always have access to Donor Banks, which at times complicates the transplant procedure from an unrelated donor.

You can get an appointment at the Fortis Clinic through Bookimed Doctor-Coordinator. Our International Patients Support Center can organize the reception of Indian hematologist and bone marrow transplant at Fortis Medical Center.

Get a treatment program from clinics in India

Cost of a bone marrow transplant in Israel — Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov)

Israel

Rating of BMT clinics in Israel is led by Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov). It is the largest conglomerate of public hospitals in the country, one of the world leaders in stem cells and bone marrow transplant.

BMT is performed by the doctors of Ichilov Hematology Department. Every year, about 200 patients are treated in this unit. The department is headed by Professor Ella Naparstek, Senior doctor for blood cancer treatment, the author of over 160 scientific papers. She works with Dr. Odelia Gur, hematologist with 20 years of experience.

Bone marrow transplant cost in Israel:

Autologous BMT

$80,000

Allogeneic BMT from a related donor

$134,000

Allogeneic BMT from an unrelated donor

$200,000

The type of ongoing BMT is different in each case. You can get detailed information on the cost and conditions of bone marrow transplant in Israel from the Bookimed Doctor-Coordinator. We take all the responsibilities for all the arrangements.

Contact the Ichilov clinic

Cost of a bone marrow transplant in USA — Johns Hopkins Hospital

USA

Johns Hopkins Hospital is situated in Baltimore, Maryland and stands as the best clinic in the state. The hospital is in the top 3 of US medical institutions. Hospital specialists are known throughout the world for their active scientific research. Genetic engineering was originated and 3 types of poliovirus were discovered right there.

Autologous and allogeneic BMT are performed on the basis of Johns Hopkins Hospital. These procedures are conducted by experienced hematologists, whose professionalism is confirmed by hundreds of successful operations. Hematology Department is headed by Professor Robert Alan Brodsky, an expert with 26 years of practice.

Bone marrow transplant cost in USA:

Autologous BMT

$120,000 — $150,000

Allogeneic BMT from a related donor

$200,000

Allogeneic BMT from an unrelated donor

$600,000

One of the main disadvantages in choosing a bone marrow transplant in the United States is the high cost of the operation, as well as expensive airline tickets, the long flight for patients from Eastern, Western Europe countries and Central Asia.

Get a treatment program from clinic

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.

These are:

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).

Also, various infective and non-infective complications can develop later on, following the discharge from a hospital, and can increase the total cost of stem cell transplantation.

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.

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