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relapse after stem cell

helpingmymom
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2003

my mother has follicular large cell (stage 3) non-hodgkins lymphoma. She has a complete response to CHOP chemo, then relapse only 1 year later. She now needs treatment. Her doctors disagree about her next treatment -- one says chemo with rituxan, and the other stem cell. I'm looking for some statistics. Does anyone know the range on the amount of time past stem cell that a person can relapse? How does it compare to the relapse time associated with chemo?

My mother is 60 years old with heart disease, but in otherwise strong condition. Does anyone who has been in these situation have any advice.

Thanks for your help.

railroad
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2003

My Mom has follicular b-cell nhl also and she finished chemo in August using fludarabine and mitoxantrone.So far,thankfully,she hasn't needed any further treatments.I don't know any places where you can find statistics but you might check webmd.com or mayo clinic or even elsewhere on this website.Maybe the ACS webmaster can help direct you.My mom's doc is Stephan Rosenfeld of Highlands Oncology in Bentonville,Arkansas if that helps any.He seems pretty good.Best of luck to you and your Mom.Keep searching for answers and keep positive.
Randy

mamacasucci
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2003

Hi. My name is Pam. I currently am being treated for follicular/diffuse large b-cell lymphoma with R-CHOP (3rd treatment is today). From the research I have done, R-CHOP is a very good treatment. R is for Rituxan, a monoclonal antibody that attaches to the protein of a cancerous b-cell and either kills the cell or "flags" it for the immune system to attack it, medical personnel aren't sure which. All that matters is that the cell is killed! From what I have read, CHOP alone doesn't have as successful a rate as does R-CHOP. Most experiences of others that I have read about a doctor has tried the CHOP and, if not totally successful, then they use the R-CHOP, then, if still unsuccessful, bone marrow transplant (because the transplant treatments are so hard on patients). Keep in mind, though, that every single patient is different. Not everyone responds the same to all treatments. Relapsing is almost inevitable for most of us. The fact that your Mom went a whole year without relapsing is a good sign. I have heard where others relapse within 2-3 months after their CHOP. I am extremely hopeful that I'll be in remission as long as your Mom was. I will be 51 next week, and I, too have heart disease but otherwise in strong condition as well. Have any of your Mom's doctors mentioned using a vaccine? It's very, very new. Samples of her cancer tissue would be taken and a vaccine would be created to treat her will her very own cancer cells. Also, the doctors may only give her 3-4 treatments of R-CHOP and be successful. Follicular lymphoma cannot be cured, one can only be in remission from it. She may receive "maintenance treatments" with Rituxan to keep it at bay (that's what my doctor plans to do if I can first get into remission). My cancer is stage 3 (in nearly all my lymph nodes) and stage IV in my bone marrow. I'm hoping I won't need to have a bm transplant. I wish you and your Mom well. Do lots of research. I feel I have taken a crash course in lymphoma!! Good luck. Be sure you're taking care of yourself, too, so you can stay strong.

sdeselle's picture
sdeselle
Posts: 21
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear Helpingmymom,
How is your mother doing now?
I had a Stem Cell transplant 2 years ago. I was being treated for a Large Difuse B-Cell NHL (Burkitt's Lymphoma). My name is Scott, and I'm 36.
Having the SCT brings on it's own set of issues. I had to go through a number of heart and lung tests prior to my treatment - so that insurance would cover the procedure. What's your mother's heart condition like?
There aren't a lot of statistics out there, but my Oncs use 5 years as the big milestone for SCT survivors. Depending on the doses and severity of the chemo. and radiation used in preparation for the SCT, there is a long list of posible long term side effects that can occur.
You may want to try and track down the book "Bone Marrow Transplants, a book of basics for patients" by Susan K. Stewart. This was one of the books my hospital gave me.
The Blood & Marrow Transplant Newsletter folks can be reached at 888-597-7674.
Feel free to look at my web page here at the CSN site, or contact me direct at snmdeselle@comcast.net if you'd like to talk.
-Scott

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