Stem Cell Transplants and Bone Marrow Transplant to Treat Lymphoma

Surgeon performs
bone marrow harvest
The terms "Hodgkin's Disease," "Hodgkin's Lymphoma," and "Hodgkin Lymphoma" are used interchangeably throughout this site.

Bone Marrow Transplants (BMT) and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplants (PBSCT) are emerging as mainstream treatment for many cancers, including Hodgkin's Disease and Medium/High grade aggressive)Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Bone Marrow Transplants with high-dose chemotherapy

BMTs have been used to treat lymphoma for more than 10 years, but until recently they were used mostly within clinical trials. Now BMTs are being used in conjunction with high doses of chemotherapy as a mainstream treatment.

When high doses of chemotherapy are planned, which can destroy the patient’s bone marrow, physicians will typically remove marrow from the patient’s bone before treatment and freeze it. After chemotherapy, the marrow is thawed and injected into a vein to replace destroyed marrow. This type of transplant is called an autologous transplant. If the transplanted marrow is from another person, it is called an allogeneic transplant.

Stem Cell Transplants: another option

In PBSCTs, another type of autologous transplant, the patient's blood is passed through a machine that removes the stem cells – the immature cells from which all blood cells develop. This procedure is called apheresis and usually takes three or four hours over one or more days. After treatment to kill any cancer cells, the stem cells are frozen until they are transplanted back to the patient. Studies have shown that PBSCTs result in shorter hospital stays and are safer and more cost effective than BMTs.

Clinical Trials and Other Options

  • Cancer Patients have more options through clinical studies. Follow this link to learn more and find a clinical study opportunity near you.
  • Radioimmunotherapy treatments such as Zevalin are very promising for certains NHL's and have now entered the mainstream of treatment options.

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