Tissue Transplant: Bone Marrow

Essay by hypakillaHigh School, 10th grade April 2004

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In the past and the present, great moments in biology have been made and are still being made. These advances in biology have saved lives around the world. A great leap in biology was made. In late 1968, Robert A. Good, MD, and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota performed the first successful marrow transplant between two people who were not identical twins. The first bone marrow transplant that used a matched donor was definitely one of the greatest moments in history.

Bone marrow is a tissue that is found inside the bones. It consists of many stem cells. The stem cells exist within many bones of the body such as the breast bone, skull, hips, ribs and spine. These cells produce the body's blood cells. The body's blood cells consist of leukocytes (white blood cells) which battle infection, erythrocytes (red blood cells) which carry oxygen to the cell and remove waste from it, and platelets that allow the blood to clot.

Lack of white blood cells was the problem of the first patient of the bone marrow transplant who was an infant with a severe combined immunodeficiency disease.

The treatment of the severe combined immunodeficiency disease was treated by the first bone marrow transplantation in 1968 and took place at the University of Minnesota by Robert A. Good, MD, and his colleagues. The idea of bone marrow transplant to be used to treat hematological disorders originated more than one hundred years ago. But it was the invention of the atomic bomb during World War II and the interest in nuclear power as a peacetime resource that led to intensive bone marrow research. Recognizing that the marrow is the organ most sensitive to radiation damage, researchers began looking for methods to protect against fatal marrow failure...