The bone marrow transplant cost in India ranges from ₹15,00,000 ($21,013) to ₹ 40,00,000 ($55,800). It depends on which BMT you are recommended. Autologous and allogeneic are the most common types of bone marrow transplants used to treat blood cancers and disorders.
Here is an estimated bone marrow transplant cost in India by types:
Types of BMT
BMT Cost In India (INR and Dollar)
Autologous Bone marrow transplant
₹15,00,000 - ₹17,00,000 ($21,013-$23,652)
Allogeneic Bone marrow transplant
₹25,00,000 - ₹30,00,000 ($35,022-$42,027)
Haplo-Allogeneic Bone marrow transplant
₹35,00,000 - ₹40,00,000 ($49,031-$56,036)
*To be on the safer side be prepared for 5% to 10% variation on the estimated cost depending on your condition. These charges include hospital stay for a specific period, surgeon’s fees, operation theatre charges, anesthesia charges and meals for the patient and one companion.
You must be wondering why cost for bone marrow transplant differs in different types of transplant? Here are the factors which will tell you the reason why:
Your condition : Depending on the type of cancer or disorder you have you’ll be recommended a type of transplant.
Age : Age of the patient is also a factor that affects the overall bone marrow transplant cost. Treatment cost is higher for patients under 20 or pediatric patient. This is because their care and total stay in the hospital is usually higher.
The type of transplant : As we know there are three types of transplant. Following are the different types of bone marrow transplants:
Autologous Bone marrow transplant:
Your own bone marrow is used for this type of transplant.
Autologous costs less as compared to allogeneic transplant.
Allogeneic Bone marrow transplant:
Bone marrow from a 10/10 HLA matching donor (preferably a sibling) is used for this type of transplant.
Cost is higher when it comes allogeneic because here you have to pay not only for yourself but also for your donor when comes to tests, facilities, lab works etc.
Haplo-Allogeneic (Haploidentical) Bone marrow transplant:
When bone marrow is used from a donor (your children, parents, sibling) that has partial HLA match to you.
Cost is even higher in Haplo-Allogeneic transplant as the procedure is a lot more complicated so the cost and number of tests increases.
Here are some of the most common questions people ask while seeking bone marrow transplants in India:
Bone marrow transplant cost in India with comparison to other countries:
₹2,47,36,250 - ₹ 5,65,40,000 ($350,000- $800,000)
₹1,64,89,184 - ₹4,12,22,960 ($233,310- $583,275)
₹70,67,500 - ₹1,76,68,750 ($100,000-$250,000)
₹35,33,679 - ₹70,67,500 ($49,999-$100,000)
₹15,00,000 – ₹40,00,000 ($21,013-$56,036)
The reasons for variations in costs between India and other developed countries are:
Currency : Basically the Indian currency is lower than the USD, pounds, euro, etc. So obviously everything is cost effective here. Be it your stay, medical treatment or consultation, everything will cost you far lesser when compared to other countries.
Standard of living : Standard of living is quite low in India than the other developed countries such as USA. So the prices of facilities be it in the field of transport, overall stay, food and medical treatment are cost-effective.
Competition : There are many Bone marrow transplant center in India, so you have wider choice according to your budget of hospitals of your choosing. Since all of them have the BMT related technology and specialists with cost effective treatment.
Hospitals : Many hospitals in India, be it government or private, offer bone marrow transplant facilities. So, you have a wider option to choose by comparing the bone marrow transplant costs in India, as the prices may vary among them.
Doctor : Basically, here in India the doctors charge less compared to doctors in the other developed countries. This is one of the major reasons for the cost-effective bone marrow transplant price in India. However, the charges of doctor may vary according to their popularity, experience and the hospitals where they practice.
There are few other factors why getting bone marrow transplant in India is a good option.
Even though there is a huge difference in the amount compared to developed countries it does not mean Indian hospitals compromise in their quality.
What could be the additional costs in BMT?
If you’re thinking of bone marrow transplant cost in India or anywhere else in the world be prepared to shell out money for post and pre- transplant facilities.
First we want to discuss all the costs that come under pre-bone marrow transplant stage:
Following is a complete guide of not only all the necessary steps you will have to take before the bone marrow transplant but also discusses the costs you will incur during this stage:
Pre bone marrow transplant cost:
Pre - procedure tests and treatments
Physical examination and health check up with your doctor might cost around ₹600 ($8) - ₹5000($70)
There are a number of investigations which will be required like a blood test, PFTs and RVG for the heart, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Chest and Dental X-ray, etc which will set you back by around ₹55,892 ($800) to ₹69,865 ($1000)
You may also have to pay for Induction chemotherapy that will cost you approximately ₹1,38,974 ($2000) to ₹2,08,462 ($3000) .
Radiation Therapy/ Radiotherapy
A rough estimate of the cost for Radiation treatment based on the procedure or technique can range between ₹1,66,770 ($2400) to ₹4,86,955 ($7000) depending on the package.
Donor fees (if required)
In case of allogeneic transplant, there are number of tests and expenses related to extraction of stem cells. This is more expensive in a haploidentical transplant.
Medication prescribed for your recovery.
Pre - operations cost
Pre-operations cost, medication costs, documentation costs etc.
What costs come under the Post-bone marrow Transplant stage?
In case of any problems, unanticipated monitoring, extended stay etc. requirements will be charged separately. This is not included in the transplant cost and hence it comes under post-transplant stage, that is:
Post bone marrow transplant cost:
Monitoring and requirements
There will be many expensive medicines prescribed to you after the transplant.
Any additional service availed
Any extended hospital stay and use of services
Any other consultation with your doctor and other consultations.
Complications management and unanticipated care
The cost for monitoring and treatment for complications management and unanticipated care is separate from the transplant cost.
If for any reason you have stay beyond the stipulated period, you will be charged separately.
Follow - up costs
After the transplant, you will have to follow up with your doctor regularly for your health check up.
For your information the following videos will help make you understand everything involved the transplant procedure:
Autologous Bone marrow transplant procedure
Allogeneic Bone marrow transplant procedure
Why you should get bone marrow transplant in India?
You will find some of the internationally accredited BMT centers in India.
Here in India the BMT doctors are extremely trained and experienced.
Not only are they highly experienced but have also have participated and led various cancer and BMT centered research in countries like USA, UK, Canada, etc.
The technology and infrastructure required for BMT is on par with the developed countries
Is there a difference between bone marrow and stem cells? It’s just that the bone marrow is the semi-solid sponge like tissues present in the center of most bones, primarily found in the ribs, vertebrae, breastbone, and hip bones. This is where the hematopoietic stem cells are ultimately produced.
It includes stem cells that form blood cells like white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. And these cells are ultimately used for the bone marrow transplant.
Why is BMT done? Bone marrow transplant is a last resort treatment and it is required when the bone marrow of the patient is unable to or is not healthy enough to produce healthy cells or perform its functions and this happens due to chronic infections, disease, cancer which effects the bone marrow and cancer treatments.
How is the donor's marrow matched to the patient's marrow in allogeneic transplantation? To increase success rate of the transplantation and to decrease complications, it is important that the donor’s bone marrow matches as closely as possible to the receiver (patient). For this you will have to undergo the HLA type test to find out the compatibility. The success of transplantation in case allogeneic BMT depends largely on how closely the HLA antigen of the donor matches to that of the patient.
For an allogeneic transplant siblings are most preferable candidates as they more likely to match the patient compared to an unrelated donor. However, the chance of sibling being an exact match donor is only around 25%. Finding the exact match HLA donor using an unrelated donor is very low. However nowadays doctors do haploidentical bone marrow transplant which also has a good success rate.
What is HLA testing? The sets of proteins that people have on the surface of their cells called human leukocyte- associated antigens (HLA), it differs in different people.
What are the possible immediate side effects of BMT? While there are many risks following bone marrow transplant the immediate side effects are as follows:.
And Following are some of the direct side effects that you might experience after receiving bone marrow transplant:
• Mouth Sores
• Nausea and vomiting
• Low platelets levels, which might decrease effective blood clot
• Low levels of red blood cells, which can cause anemia
• GVHD or HVGD (Graft vs host disease OR host vs Graft disease)
If you’re undergoing autologous stem cells, in rare cases you may also experience:
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain or tightness
• Urine may appear red in colour
What are the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation? As you will receive chemotherapy and radiation before the bone marrow transplant to kill all the cancer cells, you might experience some side effects which are as follows:
• Hair loss
• Skin problems
• Swelling of the brain (increased intracranial pressure)
• Earaches or difficulty hearing if the ear is in the treatment area
• Easy bruising and bleeding
• Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
• Nausea and vomiting
• Appetite changes
• Mouth, tongue, and throat sores and pain while swallowing
• Nerve and muscle numbness, tingling, and pain
• Dry skin and nail col our changes
• Urine and bladder changes and kidney problems
• Weight loss
• Mood changes
How is bone marrow harvested for a transplant? This applies in cases of both autologous and allogeneic.
A needle is inserted into the rear pelvic bone (hip bone) where the largest amount of bone marrow is located, from here the bone marrow will be extracted using a syringe.
Several punctures are made through skin and bone to extract sufficient bone marrow. This does not require any surgical incisions so be rest assured there will be only skin punctures where the needle was inserted.
A sterile bandage is applied to the site when the collection ends.
Usually one to two quarts of marrow/stem cells are harvested.
How does bone marrow transplant help a patient? Bone marrow transplant procedure is used to replace damaged and diseased bone marrow. Apart from this, it is also used to restore a new immune system that will help fight the existing or remaining cancer cells which have not been killed through chemotherapy and radiation.
What Are the Significant Risks of a Transplant? There are many risks and complications involved in bone marrow transplant process. These risks can surface both during and after the bone marrow transplant is complete. The complications on vary depending on the health of the patient, the stage of cancer, doctor’s diagnosis, requirement and the type of bone marrow transplant.
1. Graft-versus-host disease-GVHD
2. Lung Damage
3. Bone problems
7. Risk of developing new cancers
What happens after bone marrow is transplanted? After the transplant engraftment takes place. During this process the transplanted cells enter the bloodstream and travel to the bone marrow, where they reproduce new white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets .
This process takes about 2 to 4 weeks. During this period, you will be kept in an extremely sterilized unit used especially for BMT patients called ‘Hepa-filtered units’ and will be constantly monitored. On regular basis you will undergo various tests and you blood count will be checked."
Complete recovery of patients as well as the immune function of the stem cells takes about 1 to 2 years for those who are receiving allogeneic or haplo-allogeneic transplant.
Doctors will conduct regular evaluations to confirm that new blood cells are being produced and that the cancer has not returned.
The doctor might also perform Bone marrow aspiration (the removal of a small sample of bone marrow through a needle for examination under a microscope) to determine how well the new marrow is working.
Is the process for an autologous transplant different from allogeneic? In an autologous transplant the doctors will initially harvest your own bone marrow/stem cells that are relatively cancer free. This bone marrow will be freezed and be re-transplanted once the treatments are over.
The harvested marrow is often treated before transplantation with anticancer drugs in order to get rid of cancer cells in a process called “purging”. This is to minimize chances of the cancer coming back.
Why is BMT so Costly? Bone marrow transplant is an extremely complicated procedure. There are various measures taken to make sure that the transplant won’t create long lasting complications.
In order to do that they take help of machines and units custom created for a BMT transplant patients that are called ‘hepa-filtered units’. The purpose of such units is to maintain an extremely sterilized environment for the patients whose immunity is at its lowest since the infections fighting cells are just recovering.
Additionally, the equipments like apheresis machine, laboratory use, etc. are also taken into consideration when deciding the cost of bone marrow transplant.
Why is haplo-allogeneic (Haploidentical) transplant more expensive than allogeneic transplant? In both Haplo-identical and an allogeneic transplant a donor‘s marrow is used for the transplant. The major difference is that in haploallogenic the donor is a partial HLA match to the patient’s HLA. There are various complications that could occur, such as GVHD (Graft versus host disease) in case of a haploallogenic transplant. So to prevent any future problems there are many tests done and observations are made before the transplant can be approved.
What could be the consultation costs? Consultation fees of a bone marrow transplant specialist, which includes physical examination and health check up with your doctor, might cost around ₹600 ($8) - ₹5000($70).
For how long will you have to continue with the medication? There is a follow-up period of about 1 year after the discharge following the transplant and the monitor period. The medications might go on for many years following the treatment depending on the consulting oncologist’s observations and orders.