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A 37-year-old member asked:

How can stem cell transplants actually cure leukemia?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sewa Legha
Medical Oncology 50 years experience
It is one of the bes: Stem cell transplants do indeed cure some leukemias. The procedure requires total body radiation, high dose chemotherapy to kill all blood cells(including leukemia cells) and then we use stem cells to regenerate the normal bone marrow in order to form new healthy blood cells.

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A 46-year-old member asked:

What is the mechanism by which stem cell transplants actually cure leukemia?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Dugan
Specializes in Hematology
Two mechanisms: The stem cell rescue allows a higher dose of chemotherapy to be delivered safely (leads to timely blood count recovery). This is true in both self and donor transplants. In the case of a donor, the new immune system can lead to an immunologic attack on any leukemic cells which survive the high dose chemo +/- radiation.
A 44-year-old member asked:

What illnesses can be cured using stem cell transplants?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Keith Stockerl-Goldstein
Hematology and Oncology 30 years experience
Many: The main lethal disease treated with stem cell transplants are hematologic malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Bone marrow failure (aplastic anemia) is also treated with stem cell transplants. Some life-threatening genetic disease can also be treated with a transplant.
A 41-year-old member asked:

How do stem cell transplants actually cure leukemia cancers?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
They don't!: Very high dose alkylating agent chemotherapy is used to kill the leukemia, and the autologpus (self) or allogeneic (antigen matched donor) stem cell or marrow elements rescue the marrow ablation caused by the chemotherapy. The high dose chemotherapy remains limited by other organ toxicities, and is not always sufficient to destroy the leukemia.
A 35-year-old member asked:

Are stem cell transplants safe?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Johnson
Aesthetic Medicine 26 years experience
Yes...so far: While current data does not indicate use of adult stem cells, more appropriately called progenitor cells, is dangerous, it is also true that there has been insufficient time to evaluate long term risks. Embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells have risk of inducing cancers including teratomas.
A 44-year-old member asked:

How risky are stem cell transplants?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Tholen
Plastic Surgery 41 years experience
Unproven, and . . .: Risky (results, and safety). Though stem cells are now available, and fat grafting to the breast is possible and controversial (results no bigger than 1 cup size, some dead fat causes calcifications and can interfere with cancer detection or mimic cancer on mammogram), this is far from mainstream. See abps-certified plastic surgeon and get implants! please!

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Last updated Mar 23, 2018

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