Stem cell transplant

Does anyone have experience qualifying to enter a stem cell tranplant program? My doctor says my cancer has to be in 100% remission to be considered.

My husband has Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and has had 6 months of chemo. He was told yesterday that he is now in remission and his Dr wants him to start stem cell transplantation. We were told the same... has to be in 100% remission.

If you go on Lymphoma.org you cn find a lot of supporters who has stem cell done. Hope this will help..

Spinner-
I don't quite understand what they mean by "100% remission", because part of the transplantation process is the conditioning regimen, which is the high-dose chemo and radiation given to a patient in order to destroy cancer cells in the body BEFORE they are given the transplant.

Logically, it doesn't make sense for a patient who is 100% cancer-free to endure a marrow transplant; the patient is already cancer free.

The conditioning regimen is designed to render the patient cancer free so that their marrow, or the donor marrow, can begin to rebuild the blood cells and immune system.

It is however considered ideal for a transplant to be performed earlier rather than later, so a patient might be considered to be in remission, but it is also probably widely believed by the docs that the cancer is so aggressive that a recurrence is almost a given.

Ross

Ross do you know anythng about the T-cell lymphoma with HTLV-1 which a rear virus.

donette:
I wrote a little about HTLV-1 back in January. Human T-cell Lymphotrophic Virus-1 is one of the four known human retroviruses; it was the first to be discovered (HIV is a retrovirus in action but is taxonomically classified under a different genus) and HTLV-1 is the most important of the four because it's generally been implicated in causing a handful of inflammatory disorders, some of them serious.

Literally millions of people are infected with HTLV-1, but only a small minority of them will actually develop one of the health problems associated with it. One example, and probably the most prevalent, is Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATLL), which is ... not a good lymphoid cancer to have. Prognosis sucks, to be straight. This cancer also goes by the name ATL, or adult T-cell leukemia.

If I have this right, HTLV-1 is highly infectious-- it's functionally a sexually transmitted virus, although it can also be transmitted in other ways. The virus has several subtypes that are broken down by global region, although it's found predominantly in Africa.

Furthermore, ATL has a handful of subtypes as well, but I don't know how they stack up against one another.

In late 2009, Japanese researchers published a paper in the journal Oncology about ATL and emerging therapies. Here's what they had to say:

"When a patient is diagnosed with ATL, it is important to make an accurate diagnosis of clinical subtype in order to make appropriate treatment decisions. For patients with smoldering or chronic type ATL, close observation with careful monitoring for opportunistic infections is recommended.

"For patients with the acute or lymphoma type requiring therapy, enrollment in a clinical trial is recommended. When there is no active trial or the patient is ineligible for a trial, we recommend intensive chemotherapy used for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma such as the LSG15 regimen (VCAP-AMP-VECP) based on a recent phase III study. Because most patients with ATL are not curable with current chemotherapy regimens, it is reasonable to consider the applicability of allogeneic stem cell transplantation inpatients who show responses to chemotherapy." [Tobinai et al. "Current management of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma." Oncology, 2009;23(14):1250-6].

Let me know if I can provide any additional help.
Ross

Hi Ross:
Thanks for your reply. The HTLV-1 is the most difficult one and apparently I have it. Well I am hoping to get a Bone Marrow Trnasplant which the doctor said is the most cure right now but likely it may not a gurantee either. We have to see if they will come up with some research on this soon as they are now trying to do more redsearch on “Lymphomas” as it seems alot of people are now having it.
Thanks a lot…

donette-
I'm sorry to read that you have the virus, and that you've developed an ATL subtype. From what you're saying it sounds like you have the lymphoma subtype of ATL, which does not appear to have a widely recognized treatment guideline.

The virus is prevalent in Africa and Japan, but rare in the US. Where do you live? Either way, there's no question that if there's going to be any emerging therapies or a breakthrough in treating the cancer, it will come out of Japan, most likely from the National Cancer Center in Tokyo. They've been leading the way since the virus was first discovered, chiefly because it's so common in the population.

Ross

I am living in the US but Iam from the island of Jamaica.
Do you know if they have any website in Japan I could check into..