How do stem cell transplants actually cure leukemia cancers?

Chemo and more. There are two types of transplants but the most common type used for leukemia is called allogeneic where the stem cells come from a donor. As part of the transplant the patient gets chemotherapy, sometimes in very high doses which treats the leukemia. The new immune system from the donor can also attack the leukemia cells and lead to a cure. This is called the graft-versus-leukemia effect.
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.

Related Questions

How can stem cell transplants actually cure leukemia?

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. Read more...

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

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. Read more...
Graft vs leukemia. A stem cell transplant (SCT) is often given after high doses of chemotherapy, which by itself is very effective against leukemia. But that's not the whole story. Typically, SCT for leukemia are donated by another person (allogeneic). Minor antigenic differences between donor and patient will cause immune cells in the graft to react against against the tumor (graft vs tumor effect). Read more...

Please describe the types of stem cell transplants for treating cancer?

Two types. Only blood cancers can be treated with stem cell transplants. There are two sources for stem cells. Your own stem cells(if the bone marrow is healthy and uninvolved with cancer) or a matched donor stem cells. The stem cells can be colelcted from the bone marrow or from the peripheral blood(more modern technique). Read more...
HSC Transplant. The only stem cell transplant in regular practice are hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants for diseases like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. HSC can be collected from donor bone marrow (BMT), from the peripheral blood (PBSC), or from umbilical cord blood. HSC transplants vary further by the type and intensity of the preparative chemotherapy, immune suppression, and selection of donor. Read more...

Can stem cell transplants cure multiple myeloma?

Rarely. If it is an allogeneic or unrelated stem cell tranplant, there is a small chance. Read more...
Depends. It depends on which type, autologous stem cell which is your own stem cell can control it for lomg time but cure is not common, (, if you respond to it) but if it is allogeneic stem cells which is from somebody else, you , may have small chance for cure. But compications are very high. Read more...
Remission. Multiple myeloma is treated classically with chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. Both modalities can put the disease on remission and prolong life substantially. I personally do not offer allogeneic stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma unless on clinical trial or under very stringent circumstances. Multiple myeloma remains an incurable but very treatable disease. Read more...

What illnesses can be cured using stem cell transplants?

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. Read more...
Stem cell. Leukemia, lymphoma. We have been using limbal stem cell transplants in eye surgery for years with excellent results. See eyedoc2020@blogspot.com. Stem cell injections are now being used to treat painful joints (shoulders, hips, etc), Alzheimers, ALS, Lyme, Cerebral Palsy, etc. Still there are not great published studies proving its benefit in many of these conditions, though. Read more...

For leukemia has anyone had a successful stem cell transplant?

Many. There are different types of leukemia, lymphoid vs myeloid, acute vs chronic. Some leukemia can be treated for chemotherapy only, some leukemia will need to be treated by stem cell transplant. The outcome of stem cell transplant is different depending on what type of leukemia a patient has. However, stem cell transplant has an established record to cure leukemia. Read more...

Dear dr's. I have been recently diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia. I have been advised to have autologus stem cell transplant. Really beneficial?

Yes. But first your physicians must demonstrate that your leukemia is responsive to therapy. They will most likely get you started on chemotherapy and then recheck your bone marrow to be sure it is responding. If there has been a good response then a bone marrow transplant may delay the progression free interval as well as prolong survival. It is not curable. Hope this helps. Read more...
Yes. This is likely a form of myeloma from your description. This is a more aggressive form of that disease. There are a number of therapies to control this disease. Stem cell therapy is one that is often recommended. Read more...

Bone marrow/stem cell transplant with high-risk relapse leukemia, can you tell me more?

See below. The stem cells in the bone marrow and peripheral blood can be used. There are two type of stem cell transplants: autologous allogeneic before the transplant, generally most of cancer cells are destroyed by chemotherapy and radiation and then stem cells are transfused the same way as blood transfusions are given. Those new stem cells migrate to bone marrow and start to make new cancer free cells. Read more...

My husband had a stem cell transplant in sept 2012 for leukemia (aml). Just told he has fully relapsed and has leukemia in his cns? Still treatable?

Yes, but... There are treatments that can be tried, but not knowing his prior treatment history and current condition i cannot say how likely such treatment will be successful. His doctors should have an honest discussion with you & your husband about options, risks and chances of success so you can make an informed decision. As you know, though, this is a bad situation. Read more...
Difficult, but yes. I am so sorry. Given how quickly he relapsed after transplant, there is a low, but not zero, chance of getting him in remission again. It depends on what drugs his leukemia has seen. A 2nd transplant is possible. There are a number of promising drugs in clinical trials for relapsed aml: http://www.Cancer.Gov/clinicaltrials/search/results?Protocolsearchid=6288957&vers=2 i wish you the best of luck. Read more...