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mbkeil's avatar

Can a myeloma patient still harvest stem cells for transplant if they've already started chemo?

Asked by mbkeil (9 points ) July 22nd, 2010

I was diagnosed and immediately set up for IV chemo treatment but now research shows the stem cells are supposed to be harvested before treatment. Is this correct?

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4 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Protocols for multiple myeloma vary, so it depends on whether an autologous stem cell transplant is planned for your treatment. It’s not clear to me why there was an apparent rush, but you need to check with your oncologist.

skfinkel's avatar

For a different disease (non-Hodgkins lymphoma), my husband was able to harvest his own cells, even though he had had lots of chemo. I would imagine this answer would depend on your personal situation, and hopefully you trust your doctor enough to get a good answer from him. If not, get a consultation with another specialist.

bernielannan's avatar

Our experience has been that your cancer cell count should be low (i.e., in remission from treatments/chemo) before trying to harvest. Further, the time between chemo and harvesting should be considered. We harvested the first time (3 days) with modest results a couple months after stopping chemo (revlamid/velcade). Waited a couple more months and got all we needed in one day. The medications to help harvest stem cells (i.e., nupogen) ...make sure your insurance covers it and work with your oncologist’s staff to find a reliable provider. So, not “required” before treatmenst if your bad cell count is high.

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