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Stem Cells Transplant


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Gerbil Runner probably has some info on that. I believe that her mother is hoping to do a stem cell transplant. Why don't you send her a personal message? I'm sure she would be happy to share the info that she has. I have been wondering how your Dad was. Your family is always in my prayers. Have a blessed day!


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Hi, berisa!

I haven't heard from anyone else on the board doing stem-cell for lung cancer. Stem-cell transplant is actually a way to give a patient a HUGE dose of chemo. Chemo drugs destroy all rapidly-growing cells, as you know. This means bone marrow, gastro-intestinal cells, and mucus membranes all suffer duing chemo.

The preferred method is autologous (self-donated) stem cells. After chemo, the patient is given drugs to make the body produce stem cells which are then harvested. This takes several days. Then the chemo hits. Some patients also get large doses of radiation, depending on the type of cancer. The patient typically gets lots of side effects, like mouth sores. Then, after the chemo has done its job, the stem cells are replaced into the body by transfusion. Mom will probably be hospitalized for several weeks. In a good center, up to 5% of patients will die from treatment-related problems.

Since it's a HUGE dose of chemo, it seems like it should be a sure-fire cure, but it isn't. My mom's onc. said he only recommends 1-2% of his patients for stem cell. Other cancers can occur after stem-cell transplant, also. A big factor for my mom is that she has had a VERY dramatic, complete response to chemo. So since her cancer seems particularly susceptable to chemo, a mega-dose makes sense. It will give her a chance for an actual cure.

On the other hand, cancers which tend not to respond well to chemo are a poor choice for stem-cell transplant.

Hope this answers some questions for you.

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