Can an autologous stem cell transplant be beneficial in multiple myeloma cases? The research has been very promising, and there have been a number of successes in this area in the last few years. These transplants do not use umbilical cord blood stem cells or stem cells from any donor. Instead these cells are taken from you before your treatment starts, frozen until needed, and then transplanted back into your body. After the cells are harvested you will undergo chemotherapy at a high dose, and then have the harvested cells transplanted.
Overall survival has been shown to improve after an autologous stem cell transplant for patients who have multiple myeloma, but unfortunately there is still a high rate of relapse and a progression of this disease after the procedure is completed. Further studies have shown that more than one transplant of these mesenchymal stem cells can improve the survival odds and lower the risk of relapse after treatment.
An autologous stem cell transplant does not use pluripotent stem cells, which can produce any cell type, but instead uses your own cells. These cells are very scarce in bone marrow, but they can be multiplied and have been shown to greatly increase the odds of surviving multiple myeloma. The maintenance regimen following this treatment is also important, and has an effect on the survival rates as well.
Stem cells have opened up a whole new field of medicine, and medical treatments. Stem cell treatment for heart disease is now used to treat heart attacks, angina, and other problems. Multiple myeloma does not have to mean a death sentence, because autologous stem cell transplant treatment can boost your odds of surviving this disease significantly. Clinical studies have shown that tandem transplants, and the proper maintenance medication and doses, can mean the difference between being a survivor or a victim of this disease.