Stem cell transplant is still the single most effective treatment for multiple myeloma, yet 45% of patients are never given this therapy, according to Dr. Sergio Giralt of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. While transplant is not a fun process for patients it can be done successfully, even for older patients, if they are fit enough to undergo the procedure.
In a short video (below), Dr. Rafael Fonseca of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale explains the reasons why patients should receive a stem cell transplant and demystifies the process in detail. He tells us that transplant is a key tool in the management of myeloma and should be used as an up-front procedure because it adds time of disease control and extends the time to relapse. On average, patients who receive stem cell transplant can go 5-6 years before needing an additional major interventional therapy. For a small subset of patients, it could be the last intensive treatment they need.
He outlines the steps to transplant for an in-patient stem cell transplant, though many centers also offer it as an out-patient procedure:
We hope you enjoy this informative video by Dr. Fonseca about this key procedure in multiple myeloma.
about the author
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree and the HealthTree Foundation.