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Stem Cell Harvest

nickydog
Posts: 70
Joined: Nov 2010

I was wondering if anyone had trouble getting enough stem cells during the harvest-been on the machine two days and only have 1.1 so far. The nurse just called and said if the blood counts are not up tomorrow they may not continue with harvest. I guess the neupogen is not working like it should.

dixiegirl's picture
dixiegirl
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

I'm sorry you are having a hard time with the harvest. I was very lucky and got all mine on the first day. They did mention that if I should have any trouble they would give me the mozabil shots to get it into my blood.

I am sure there are other shots they can give you to get the little buggers moving!

Good luck to you my friend!

Beth

nickydog
Posts: 70
Joined: Nov 2010

They didn't get enough after three attempts!! They are storing what is collected. The reason for doing the harvest was just in case I would ever need the transplant. Now it's going to be radiation on Tuesday. There is going to be 20 very low doses the radiologist said. There are a couple of very small spots that the chemo didn't get. The doctors feel that this will take care of it. Praying that by mid August this will be all behind us.

dixiegirl's picture
dixiegirl
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

Sorry they were not successful with the harvest, but glad to know they are storing the cells for you. I am curious, what are they charging you to store them and how long can they be frozen?

For my second time around I did 17 rounds of radiation and it's never come back in that spot. I have had other relapses in other spots but it did seem to take care of that one.

Good luck to you!

Beth

moms_the_best
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2011

My mother had trouble collecting stem cell for her auto SCT as well. They placed her on a drug combination called AMD3100 and G-CSF. It allows more stem cells to come out through the bloodstream for collection, you may want to consult your doctor/specialists on this. Hope this helps!

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Wow, I was reading your posts and marveled at the way your cells are harvested. Now is this bone marrow that they are harvesting or just stem cells or what? I would be interested in knowing the way it's done today. When I had my marrow harvested for the bone marrow transplant I went into surgery and they sucked out marrow from my hip area in the back but then a couple of days later told me they would have to do it again cause there wasn't the quality they wanted. So under I went again and they sucked out more marrow from my collar bones this time. Felt like I had been kicked by a pack of mules coming and going from those surgeries but that was about it. They went for quantity not quality then there was the horrific moment when the Red Cross showed up at my hospital bed and they plunged all the marrow back in. That was nasty. Projectile vomited on 3 interns. lol. Ha ha welcome to Medicine 101 - Tranplants. lol. They looked surprised. LOL.

Anywho not sure if you are talking about harvesting the same thing. I assumed the stem cells (and it was the very early days of stem cell transplants mind you) were coming from the marrow they had extracted the two times but now I'm not so sure. Would love to know how it works now if someone can describe it to me.

Blessings,

Bluerose

moms_the_best
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Bluerose,

The newer type of harvest is the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell procedure. An IV is placed into each arm and as blood is drawn out, it is sent to an apheresis machine where it separates the stem cell with the rest of the other blood components. The remaining blood is sent back to the IV through the other arm. This procedure relies on injecting a drug into the bloodstream to *trick* the stems cells to go into the blood stream (just remembered on top of my mind - drug is called Neupogen). This is the way that they collect stem cells from either the patient (for auto SCT) or from a donor (for allo SCT).

However, there are times that it is difficult to harvest the stemcells for patients due to chemotherapy. That is why they introduce other type of drugs to carry them out to the bloodstream. They are more costly and not readily used. Ones that I heard on are AMD3100, and the other one is Mozobil (almost never used).

Take care and hope this is informative :)

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for the explanation. So harvesting bone marrow is totally different I guess or maybe they did what you are talking about for the stem cell part of my treatment and I didn't realize it - took it from blood I mean. It was the early days of stem cell use so maybe it has changed radically since then, I would think it would.

Again thank you for the info, that was very interesting.

Take care.

Blessings,
Bluerose

dixiegirl's picture
dixiegirl
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

My harvest was all done with one tri-fusion port. I had 3 lines hanging out. So they took the blood through one line and returned it to one of the others. A machine spun the blood to separate the layers wbc, platelets, rbc etc.

My process took about 5 hours and I was luckiest to get 5.14 million stem cells the first day.

Take care,
Beth

D-M-B
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2011

Beth is it common to take more than one time to get the stem cells. Was it painful during the 5 hours of the blood tranfusing. Please explain to me what happens after that. Right now I have to do at least 3 rounds of D-Hap to shrink a tumor in my abdomen before the transplant. The first round went terribly wrong when I picked up a bug in the hospital that made it home in my blood. The who month has been nothing more than needles hooked up to high doeses of IV antibiotics. I am emotionally drained and for the first time terrified of the whole cancer process. I am usually a strong person but have been giving in to short fits of crying. I want to move forward but this experience has shown me the dangers involved.

Donna

D-M-B
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2011

Beth is it common to take more than one time to get the stem cells. Was it painful during the 5 hours of the blood tranfusing. Please explain to me what happens after that. Right now I have to do at least 3 rounds of D-Hap to shrink a tumor in my abdomen before the transplant. The first round went terribly wrong when I picked up a bug in the hospital that made it home in my blood. The who month has been nothing more than needles hooked up to high doeses of IV antibiotics. I am emotionally drained and for the first time terrified of the whole cancer process. I am usually a strong person but have been giving in to short fits of crying. I want to move forward but this experience has shown me the dangers involved.

Donna

D-M-B
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2011

Beth is it common to take more than one time to get the stem cells. Was it painful during the 5 hours of the blood tranfusing. Please explain to me what happens after that. Right now I have to do at least 3 rounds of D-Hap to shrink a tumor in my abdomen before the transplant. The first round went terribly wrong when I picked up a bug in the hospital that made it home in my blood. The who month has been nothing more than needles hooked up to high doeses of IV antibiotics. I am emotionally drained and for the first time terrified of the whole cancer process. I am usually a strong person but have been giving in to short fits of crying. I want to move forward but this experience has shown me the dangers involved.

Donna

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