Stem Cell Therapy Provided by Experienced Cancer Specialists
Essex Oncology offers a highly effective stem cell therapy program in partnership with renowned local medical centers. Our physicians utilize the most advanced methods available to maximize success for every patient. If a stem cell transplant is a viable treatment option for your type of cancer, your physician will guide you through each step of the process.
About Stem Cell Transplants
A stem cell transplant replaces a person’s damaged stem cells with healthy ones. High doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation destroy cancer cells, but also kill healthy stem cells. A stem cell transplant is used to replace the cells that were destroyed. Stem cells are delivered into the body like a blood transfusion, and over time they begin growing and making healthy red and white blood cells and platelets.
Stem cells can be collected from the bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord. If you are a candidate for a stem cell transplant, your doctor will review the advantages and disadvantages of collecting stem cells from the available sources, and recommend the most beneficial option for you.
There are two main types of stem cell transplants:
- Autologous transplant – Your own stem cells are collected before high-dose chemotherapy and then re-infused after chemotherapy is complete.
- Allogeneic transplant – The stem cells of either a related donor or a matched unrelated donor are infused after high-dose chemotherapy is delivered.
When an allogeneic transplant is needed, identical twins are the best donor match, followed by brothers and sisters, and other family members. If no match is found among family members, a search for an unrelated donor can be conducted. Millions of volunteer stem cell donors are registered with the National Marrow Donor Program.
Risks of stem cell transplantation include infections, graft-versus-host disease and graft failure. If you undergo a stem cell transplant, you may be given vaccines to prevent infections. If an infection does happen, you will be prescribed medications to fight it. Graft-versus-host disease can happen when your new stem cells attack your body. The risks of graft-versus-host-disease and graft failure can be minimized by thoroughly preparing you for your transplant, and making sure that you receive well-matched donor cells.
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