Stem Cell Treatment for Cancer - How is it done?

My friends mum has mouth cancer and now has 2 months of stem cell treatment. Does anyone know how this is done?

Apparently it's going to give her an extra 6 months, so i guess its not a permenant sure.

Any advice on what the procedure actually is would be great



Sorry, that was meant to say permenant cure

4 Answers

  • Panda
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Everyone is born with stem cells. They are in your blood and can be removed by a process similar to dialysis called apheresis or 'harvesting' using a machine. The patients own stem cells are harvested and than frozen for later use. The patient than enters a specialized isolated unit in the hospital and given high dose chemotherapy that is intended to kill off all residual disease left in the body. The dosages are so high that it will also kill off the patients own immune system. That is where the 'stem cell rescue' will come in . . . the doctor will than transfuse the patients own stem cells back into the body in the same way you receive blood. Within a few weeks, if all is working well, the stem cells will regenerate a brand new immune system hopefully cancer free this time around.

    Sometimes the stem cell transplants work and sometimes they do not . . much depends on the type of cancer and whether the patient had minimal residual disease or not. Much also will depend on whether the patient experience graft vs host disease or remains healthy during the time period of recovery. Recovery takes weeks to months to up to a year.

    There are several types of stem cell transplants . .some use the patients own stem cells and some use the stem cells of a close sibling or donor . . the closer the blood type the less chance of rejection by the body.

    Stem cell transplants are done at most of the major cancer centers across the US. Not every type of cancer is a good candidate for this treatment. Successful treatment can lead to long term remission and individual 'cures' . . but there is serious risk to life and no guarantees it will work.

    You can read more about BMT and Stem Cell Transplants at the National Cancer Institute site:

    Bone Marrow Transplantation and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation

    Understanding Blood Stem Cell Transplants

    American Cancer Society: Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplants

    Children's Hospital Boston -Dana Farber Cancer

    Stem Cell Transplantation Program

    Source(s): Experience. My son had his stem cells harvested at Boston Childrens/Dana Farber Cancer institute but passed away before he could have the transplant.
  • CP
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Stem cells are immature cells found in the bone marrow, blood stream, and in umbilical cords. These immature stem cells later develop into blood cells. Since stem cells can be damaged in certain cancer treatments, CTCA hospitals have developed techniques to add healthy stem cells back into your body after damaging treatments take place.

    Stem cells can be used in bone marrow transplantation and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. Both of these procedures are used to restore stem cells that have been destroyed by high dose chemotherapy. These treatments using stem cells may also be used for patients who have had radiation treatment for their cancer.

    Stem cells are used in a type of cancer treatment called autologous stem cell rescue. This innovative cancer therapy is available at CTCA and can be used on certain types of cancer. In this procedure, your own peripheral stem cells and bone marrow are used to overcome the bone marrow destroying effects of radiation and high dose chemotherapy.

  • 3 years ago

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  • judy
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    There is no cure for any cancer just control over the cancer All procedures done only buy time. Time is what is important. Prayer helps.. keep the faith..miracles do happen

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