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Stem Cell Transplants

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2003

My husband was just rediagnosed with Hodgkins after 2 years. Doctors are recommending a stem cell transplant. I have seen the definitions of both the Autologous and Allogeneic Transplants. Can anyone tell me the advantages of each? We also have my 2 year old son's Umbillical Cord Stem Cells but have been told that they are often not enough. Is anyone aware or using the umbillical cord and suplementing with the patients own stem cells?

Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi, I, too, had a Hodgkin's reaccurance after 2 years, and had an autologous stem cell transplant. From what I understood, the auto is less complicated. No donor/host disease, where your body rejects the donation. Usually less hospital time. I was able to do mine outpatient, and only stayed over in the hospital about 7 nights, as opposed to 3 months. One main advantage to an Allo, if I'm correct, is that you will have the other person's immune system fighting on your behalf. Which can be a major advantage. I feel secure that I made a good choice with the Auto. I am now 3 3/4 years out from mine. The whole procedure went rather quickly. I was actually discharged from the hospital 1 1/2 months after we started. Never had to go back there. I only see my regular oncologist now. I'm not aware of any of the umbillical cord information, but if you would like to talk feel free to email me directly: reezer@tampabay.rr.com

dpomroy's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Dec 2000

I had an auto for Hodgkins last August and am doing really well now. Everyone's case is unique, but my understanding of the differences in auto and allo for me were...auto was the preferred choice because although the success rate of the transplants were about the same (meaning 5 years from now you are still here and Hodgkins free), the survival rate of the actual transplant process is much higher with auto. Since they are your own cells you won't be rejected by them, there is no graft versus host disease, and recovery is generally quicker. I have had friends who have had both kinds of transplants though, and have heard that allo is "easier" in that you are just the recipient of the cells. You aren't going through all the donor stuff AND all the recipient stuff too. Cord blood transplants are very common at the U of MN where I had mine. When the docs weren't sure if I could go auto, they did a donor search and came up with 2 cords that matched me. They were going to combine the cells to use if I couldn't go with auto. I think there is something that combines the patients with other cells (called a miniMUD?) that you might want to get more information about. Good luck.

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