Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in Singapore

A bone marrow transplant is a treatment therapy performed in cases of cancer or diseases related to the bone marrow. During this procedure, the donor or the patient stem cells are extracted from the bone marrow, which is filtered and then infused into the patient. These cells help the body make enough red blood cells, white cells, and platelets.

Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) in Singapore

There have been quite a lot of advancements in technology to treat diseases over the past few years, which has helped save lives at large. Bone marrow transplantation, now known as stem cell transplantation has gained momentum over the years and has been successful in improving the quality of life of the patients.

Bone marrow transplantation is a treatment for those suffering from cancer. A stem cell transplant is associated with the development of new stem cells, which makes healthy blood cells. The process can be an autologous transplant, requiring a high-dose of chemotherapy; or it can be an allogeneic transplant, under which the patient receives the stem cells from a donor. If the patient has cancer in his/her bone marrow, the doctor usually recommends an allogeneic transplant.

Among many popular destinations for bone marrow transplantation, Singapore attains a position in the top five, exhibiting a high success rate. The medical centers here use state-of-the-art technology in treating patients suffering from leukemia and aplastic anemia. Quality treatment and low cost of the transplant makes Singapore one of the most preferred destinations across the globe, with patients traveling overseas to avail the same.

Treatment and Cost

20

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

2 Day in Hospital

18 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 400000

Hospitals

About the Bone Marrow Transplant

Stem cell transplant is one modern technology that is undergoing rapid improvements. It is said these days that instead of investing in various life insurance policies that are making the rounds in the market, to secure the future and precious life of your child go for stem cell technologies. This can later cure him or her from any life threatening terminal disease like cancer. Stem cell transplant has been used in recent times as a cure for cancer, but the technique is different from the stem cell bank that is maintained these days for new born.

 

Who needs a stem cell transplant?

The bone marrow which is part of the bones is responsible for making blood cells. It is soft and spongy tissue lodged inside the bone having hematopoietic stem cells. These cells either turn into bone marrow cells or can turn into any other kinds of cells or the blood cells. But there are certain forms of cancers that can keep these cells from developing normally.

A patient is recommended to get a blood as well as bone marrow stem cell transplant if they are in a condition which prevents the body from producing new healthy blood cells. Some of the conditions and diseases that prevent the bone marrow from doing so are given below:

  • Cancers like Myeloma, breast cancer, leukemia, Lymphoma may require stem cell transplant
  • Blood diseases which may require are sickle cell anemia, aplastic anemia and thalassemia
  • There are immune deficiency diseases like the congenital neutropenia, severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, chronic granulomatous disease may demand a stem cell transplant.

The oncologist or hematologist shall decide for a stem cell transplant for a patient depending upon overall age and health, severity of the diseases and other treatment possibilities.

 

What is a stem cell transplant?

So the stem cell transplant is a kind of treatment to treat blood disorders or any types of cancer. Even blood diseases are also treated with transplants. Previously patients had to undergo a bone marrow transplant due to the fact that stem cells are collected from the bone marrow. But today stem cells get collected from the blood. And for this particular reason they are now called stem cell transplants. Nowadays stem cell therapies are used to combat hair loss and many other aesthetic related issues.

Some of the different types of stem cell treatments available are discussed below

Autologous transplant: These kinds of transplants are known as auto transplant. This kind of transplant has the scope  of very high dose chemotherapy paired with autologous stem cell rescue. In this process usually the doctors treat the cancel and then make use of the stem cells from the patient itself. From the blood, stem cells are collected and the health care team then freezes it. These cells are usually placed back in the blood after thawing them in the frozen state post the chemotherapy. The cells take almost 24 hours to reach the bone marrow and start multiplying to give rise to healthy blood cells.

Allogenic transplantation: This is better known as an allo transplant medically. In this case stem cells are obtained from another individual. But this individual needs to be someone with whom the bone marrow of the patient matches. Due to presence of proteins in white blood cells called the human leukocyte antigens (HLA) it is important that bone marrow matching takes place. The most compatible stem cell donor will have the HLA matching with that of the patient.

But the process of matching can also give rise to a very severe condition named graft versus host disease or GVHD but then it is not very likely. In this kind of a disease the healthy cells obtained from transplantation will start attacking the cells of the patients. In such cases siblings are considered to be the best match. And if they are not available then some other close family member can also work. Once the donor is fixed then the patient starts receiving chemotherapy session with or without radiotherapy. The other person’s stem is then placed in a vein via a tube. These cells unlike the previous ones are not frozen so they can be given immediately after the completion of chemotherapy.

There can be two types of Allo transplantation depending upon the age, condition and the disease that is being addressed:

The first kind is ablative where high dose of chemotherapy is used and in the second kind milder doses of chemotherapy is employed.

When the assigned health care team is unable to find a matched adult donor then are other options that must be considered like the Umbilical cord blood transplant and these days cancer centers all around the globe make use of cord blood.

Parent child transplant and haplotype mismatched transplant: In these kinds of transplants which are commonly employed the match found is 50% instead of 100% and the donor can be a parent, child or brother and sister.

How is Bone Marrow Transplant performed?

The first step in bone marrow transplant is to reduce the tumour so that the stem cell transplant success rate is improved. The process of harvesting stem cells takes around three to four hours, depending on the number of stem cells collected. The entire process may take around three to five days to complete. Blood count is daily monitored during collection of stem cells to ensure that it does not go below the admissible levels in the donor, which may contribute to anaemia.

A catheter is placed in the donor’s arm during the actual stem cell transplant procedure. The catheter is connected to a special machine that separated stem cells from the blood. After extracting the stem cells, the remaining blood is infused back into the donor's body.

 

Stem Cell Harvesting Procedure

The stem cell concentration in the bone marrow is almost 10 to 100 times more than the levels found in peripheral blood. The hip bone is considered to have the greatest amount of marrow in the active state and a large number of stem cells can also be extracted from there.

The process of harvesting the stem cells from the bone marrow is carried out in an operating room. The donor is given either general anaesthesia, an epidural, or spinal anaesthesia.

The surgeon makes a number of punctures over the skin covering the pelvic bone. A special kind of needle attached to a syringe is then inserted through these punctures. The needle penetrates the bone marrow and blood is drawn out along with marrow through the syringe. The process is continued several times to ensure enough numbers of stem cells are collected as required for the transplant. The whole duration can last for a period of one to two hours. The amount of blood and marrow removed will vary according to the weight and concentration of stem cells in the marrow of the donor. At the end of this procedure, the surgeon covers the puncture region with pressure dressing and bandages. The collected cells are filtered to separate fat particles and fragments of bones. The donor is taken to the recovery room where the hospital team checks for signs of pain, bleeding or any other side effects of the procedure. The donor can leave the hospital in a few hours after his or her body has recovered. But in some cases, they may be required to stay overnight for better monitoring.

The hip area of the donor remains sore for a few days and it is important to take medicines as directed to relieve the pain. Until the blood cell counts increase, doctors may suggest iron supplements t to enhance the ability of the bone marrow to replenish blood cells.

 

Stem Cell Transplant Procedure

High dose of chemotherapy is given to the patient immediately after stem cell collection or can even be done at a later stage. Stem cells are injected into the bloodstream of the patient after the completion of high dose chemotherapy. These stem cells travel all the way to bone marrow to start producing new blood cells, which is important as a number of healthy blood cells are lost during high dose chemotherapy.

Recovery from Bone Marrow Transplant

Until the bone marrow is in a position to make sufficient blood cells, the patient is at the risk of contracting infections and diseases. Therefore, the patient is kept in an isolation room following stem cell transplantation to protect him or her from contamination. The stay in isolation room lasts for over a week or until the level of blood cells is back to normal again.

Isolation is more important in the case of allogeneic stem cell transplant than autologous stem cell transplant. This is the reason why some hospitals do not prefer to keep a patient who has had an autologous transplant isolated.

During the recovery period, only one or two visitors are allowed to visit the patient. Those who are already ill should strictly avoid visiting the patient. There are a few hospital who conduct autologous stem cell transplant on an outpatient basis. However, the patient must come for follow-up 0vists regularly for monitoring of their health.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you go for a bone marrow transplant in Singapore

Bone marrow transplant in Singapore involves a personalized treatment approach to potentially cure patients with certain blood cancers and immune system disorders that may otherwise prove fatal. The treatment offered to such patients in Singapore is tailor-made as per their individual clinical characteristics and need.

There are many hospitals for bone marrow transplantation in Singapore. The quality of services and the medical expertise available in Singapore can be compared to some of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of medical technology and treatment, including the US and Israel.

Many people across the world prefer to travel to or take their near and dear ones to Singapore to avail high-quality medical treatment. Patients suffering from blood-related disorders are no different. Singapore, as a country, has great medical expertise. The professionalism, skills, and the expertise of the doctors in Singapore continues to remain one of the best in the world.

Additionally, medical treatment can be availed quickly in Singapore. There is practically no waiting time and the patients to travel to the country to get treatment can seek medical and surgical attention almost immediately.

The cost of healthcare in Singapore is expenses, be it for bone marrow transplantation or any other procedure. However, the standard and quality of health care delivered to the patients in Singapore continue to remain unmatched and one of the best in the world.

What is the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in Singapore

Bone marrow transplant cost in Singapore is inclusive of the cost of hospitalization, chemotherapy required, processing of the stem cells, the medications, and the consumables required during the entire duration of treatment. Depending on whether the stem cells are coming from the patient’s own body or a bone marrow donor in Singapore or abroad, the cost may vary.

Overall, the bone marrow transplant cost in Singapore is expensive. It may start at around $80000. The cost of bone marrow transplant in Singapore depends on whether the patient is undergoing autologous or allogeneic stem cells transplant, on the exact condition of the patient, the disease or disorder being treated, complications involved, and the fees of the BMT expert.

Bone marrow transplantation is an expensive treatment, because of the complexity that it reflects. However, the cost of private bone marrow transplant in Singapore is much lower than that in the western countries. An allogeneic bone marrow transplant is usually more expensive than an autologous treatment, as in the former, a donor is required. So, patients who are travelling overseas to avail treatment in Singapore pay 50 percent of the amount charged in countries like USA and UK. This is one of the main reasons why people from all over the world travel to Singapore for a bone marrow transplantation.

What are the top hospitals and doctors for bone marrow transplant in Singapore

Singapore is a highly popular medical tourism destination, especially because of the availability of advanced infrastructure, latest medical technology, highly experienced medical specialists, and state-of-the-art hospitals.

There are many hospitals in the country that offer bone marrow transplantation in Singapore. Stem cells transplantation is a highly sensitive procedure that should only be conducted at a well-equipped and advanced BMT unit. The best hospitals in Singapore for bone marrow transplantation are globally renowned for their advanced infrastructure, modern facilities, latest techniques, and the level of hygiene maintained by the staff.

Some of the hospitals that run bone marrow donor programme in Singapore, apart from the actual treatment include the following:

  • Gleneagles Parkway Hospital

  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital

  • Thompson Medical

  • Raffles Medical

  • Parkway East Hospital

  • Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

Some of the best doctors for bone marrow transplantation in Singapore include the following:

  • Dr. Donald Poon Yew Hee, Raffles Medical
  • Dr. Lim Ziyi, Mount Elizabeth Hospital

  • Dr. Lee Chi Wai Anselm, Mount Elizabeth Hospital

  • Dr. Ting Wen Chang, Mouth Elizabeth Orchard

Is bone marrow transplant successful in Singapore

The success rate of bone marrow transplantation is one of the best in the world. The success rate of autologous bone marrow transplantation is greater than that of allogeneic transplantation.

Even though it is not possible to deduce the exact success rate of the procedure because of the variables involved, overall, 80 to 90 per cent cases are successfully treated in Singapore (especially in the case of autologous transplant).

The first adult bone marrow transplantation in Singapore was performed in the year 1985, at the Singapore General Hospital. Since then, the treatment has proven to be significantly effective and has exhibited a decent success rate over the years. Not only that, the transplantation has been successful in improving the quality of life of the patients, and has given them a ray of hope to fight cancer.

What is the donor programme in Singapore for bone marrow transplantation?

A transplant is an ideal option for those suffering from leukaemia or lymphoma. In the case of an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, there arises the need for a donor. The Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) is the largest donor programme in Singapore, which has a total base of 30 million donors worldwide. The donor programme finds the right bone marrow donor in Singapore for the patient with the type of blood required for the transplant. Once the donor is found, the treatment proceeds.

What is the health care infrastructure of Singapore / Why should opt for Singapore as a destination for your medical treatment?
Singapore is generally known for its well-managed health care infrastructure and has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare. Singapore was ranked 6th in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems in the year 2000. Bloomberg ranked Singapore's healthcare system the most efficient in the world in 2014. Three main healthcare groups exist in Singapore:
  • National Healthcare Group
  • National University Health System
  • SingHealth
The 10 public hospitals in Singapore comprise 8 general hospitals (AH, SGH, NUH, CGH, TTSH, KTPH, NTFGH & SKH), and 2 specialized hospitals (KKH & IMH). In addition, there are 9 national specialty centres for cancer (NCCS & NCIS), cardiac (NHCS & NUHCS), eye (SNEC), skin (NSC), neuroscience (NNI) and dental care (NDCS & NUCOHS). The private healthcare infrastructure in Singapore is also well established. The payment methods include private payment gateways or private insurance companies. You can expect better technology to be used in private hospitals in Singapore. Various procedures like stem cell therapy and cancer research are conducted in Singapore.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Singapore? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are some of the JCI certified hospitals in Singapore :
  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  • Singapore National Eye Centre
  • National Dental Centre
  • Raffles Hospital
  • National University Hospital
  • Gleneagles Hospital
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • National Heart Centre Singapore
  • Changi General Hospital
  • National Cancer Centre
  • National Skin Centre
  • Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Are the doctors/surgeons in Singapore of the best quality?
Since Singapore is known all over the world for some of the best medical treatments all across the globe, you can surely expect the best quality of doctors and surgeons here. This country has a very high quality of life and hence the health of people is of high priority.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in India?
People who wish to go to Singapore as a tourist for social purposes or seeking medical treatment, and require a longer period of stay beyond the Visit Pass granted on entry into Singapore, may submit an application for extension of stay (not more than 89 days from date of entry) online using the e-Service of ICA. All extension applications must be submitted online using the e-service at least seven days prior to the expiry of the visit pass to avoid overstaying. Extension of visit will not be accepted over the counter. Every visit pass issued to any person as a tourist or for the purpose of a social visit or medical treatment shall be subjected to the condition that the holder shall not engage in any form of employment (paid or unpaid) or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore during the validity of that pass unless he is a holder of a valid work pass issued under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Do visit the ICA website for further information.
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Which are the best cities in Singapore for medical treatment?
Singapore is a sovereign island city in itself. So you can find many options for treatment in Singapore itself, without having to travel too much.

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