Stem Cell Treatment Options for Multiple Myeloma
It’s been continuously said over the news and medical circles that stem cells can be used in treating certain types of cancers; one which is the Multiple Myeloma.
For those of you who do not know, Multiple Myeloma is a type of cancer which attacks the white blood cells in the body. It attaches directly to the plasma cells which have been known to be the ones that are fighting foreign pathogens. They do this by creating antibodies that recognize these pathogens in order to combat them, and possibly killing them in the process.
There are many stages to this disease. If it is only mild, the doctors will not recommend any harsh treatments like having the person undergo chemotherapy sessions or stem cell transplants process.
However, in its later stages and symptoms have become so apparent, then drastic measures will have to be done in order to combat this deadly disease.
So, where do stem cells factor into this? Well, the patient will have to take some powerful drugs that can kill the cancer cells. They might also be subjected to some radiation as well just to complement the former.
This is where the stem cells come in. They are implanted in the body to help replace the cells that were killed off during the previous procedures.
That being said, there are actually different types of stem cell transplants you need to be aware of.
Different Stem Cell Transplants
- Autologous– This transplant method involves the extraction of the patient’s own stem cells to be implanted again at a later date (after the chemotherapy/radioimmunology sessions). This method can actually keep the disease at bay for so many years. However, there is a possibility that it can resurface again in the future.
- Allogeneic– This method is where the stem cells are derived from another person other than the patient. This is used is the previous method fails. The only major problem would be if the transplanted stem cells will not be rejected by the patient’s body.
- Tandem– This method is where the patient gets 2 Autologous transplants that are spaced a few months apart from each other. For instance, you get a transplant this month and you will wait another 6 months to get the second treatment. Studies show that this is better in terms of long-term treatment than a single autologous transplant, but keep in mind that this procedure is quite expensive.
- Syngeneic– Because stem cells from different people have a higher chance of getting rejected by the body, the stem cells that come from an identical twin doesn’t share the same fate. This process involves extracting stem cells from your identical twin, which will have nearly the same success rate to that of the autologous transplants.
- Mini– It follows the Allogeneic transplant protocols, but this is where you rely more on the stem cells for the actual treatment instead of chemotherapy/radioimmunology sessions. In other words, you will get a much lower dosage from the latter so that the former can do its thing. This is perfectly suited for older people.
There are many ways you can treat Multiple Myeloma; you just have to confer with your doctor as to which method will work for you.