DBA is caused by a patient’s bone marrow not making red blood cells. It is possible to replace this faulty bone marrow with a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant from a donor.
The stem cell donor needs to be the right “match” for the patient. Siblings have a 1 in 4 chance of being a match. Finding a match in the general population is much less likely.
Stem cell transplant is a very serious undertaking, involving much risk as the patient’s old, faulty bone marrow is destroyed to make way for the stem cells. This leaves the patient in a very weakened state for some time, with long stays in hospital likely. However, there are many people who have been successfully treated after having suffered the symptoms of DBA.
Stem Cell transplant is typically only considered once other treatment avenues have been exhausted. Each case is treated on its own merits.
For further information a full guide on Stem Cell Transplant prepared by the CDC (US organisation) is available.
Some pictures from one successful transplant are shown below.
The transplant story of the little girl shown above can be found online.
DBA UK is not a medical charity and is not qualified to give medical advice on DBA. Please talk with your doctor or health care provider if you are worried about stem cell transplant. However, if you would like to talk to other DBA patients and families who may have been in the same position as you then please contact us.