My mother has been diagnosed with leukemia?

My mother has been diagnosed with leukemia?
My mother is 76, had breast cancer more than 10 years ago, and underwent a mastectomy and chemo at that time for treatment. Now, she has developed leukemia, and her doctor is giving her a few months to live & recommending Vidaza to prolong her life by a bit.

My wife and I recently had twins and we were able to successfully save stem cells from the umbilical cord of one of our twins. Is it possible these stem cells can be used to treat her?

The answer to my question, and any other thoughts are appreciated.

- Canaras
I certainly would check with her specialist regarding the stem cells.

- J.D.
yes they can--my sister has it n my niece had 2 babys for her-the dumb nurse thru the cord away n was unable to save it after that-my sister paid for the procedure to be done the day after birth. the nurse got fired. (my niece is 18 n we told her no more kids! wait for a donation) good for u to save her or add more life. i hope it works out for u all! havent heard of that drug b4-my sis is getting chemo thru i.v.s but shes 40

- J.S.
Stem cell transplants and bone marrow transplants are done for patients with leukemia or lymphoma when treatment has destroyed the bone marrow. If your mother can be put into remission then the transplant can occur. It's useless unless she can be put into remission. A bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant is used not necessarily as a treatment but it's used to help make sure cancer does not return.

In finding a donor blood type is not the only important factor. There are 6 markers they look for in determining how good of a match you are. A 6/6 match is, obviously, the best match but a 5/6 match can also be accepted but there is a slightly greater chance of transplant rejection.

The test for a possible match is easy - my children all had their cheek swabbed to test and see how close of a match they were to my 2 year old son E who has AML leukemia. He is on the transplant list right now waiting for a BMT and a matching donor. My 6 year old was the closest match but he was not a close enough match to donate to E.

Before the recipient can have the transplant, he or she must go through intense chemotherapy, or sometimes radiation or both, in order to kill all remaining cancerous cells and to make room for the new bone marrow that is about to be transplanted. After the chemotherapy and/or radiation, the bone marrow is introduced directly into the blood. The donated cells are introduced through a port-a-cath or a central line of some kind but my son E has a port (which by the way I think is one of the greatest inventions in the history of medicine - it makes everything so much easier). So there is no actual surgery involved in the transplant on the recipient's side. The new stem cells find their way from the blood into the bones and if everything goes right, the transplant will take hold and the donor's cells will take over and produce healthy cells. Typically, hospitalization lasts for over a month to ensure the transplant was effective and is not being rejected. The patient is kept in isolation with only close family allowed to see them due to the fact that they have no immune system. Full recovery typically takes around a year.

I hope this helped you out some and I hope the best for your mother. If you have any more questions feel free to email me (crazycanuckj@yahoo.ca) or IM me (crazycanuckj).

- midnightmoon
Its possible. You would have to see if the stem cells are an HLA tissue type match to your mother. The best chance at a match is a full blooded sibling at 1 in 4. After that the best chance is a parent or a child, at 1 in 8. Beyond that direct relationship, its unlikely a person would be a match. Cord blood does give leeway on the match, compared to using marrow donated from an adult. However, being that the cord blood belongs to the grandchild, that is still a lil far down the chain to be a match (but is possible and should be considered if she will be going through the bone marrow transplant.) In all honesty, you are far more likely to be a match to your mother than your child is.

However, there are complications. First, your mothers age and over all health other wise. A bone marrow transplant is incredably traumatic. If she has a lot of other health problems, it may not be the best option for her. On top of that, using cord blood adds a couple of complications that dont exist with marrow.

Also, one unit of cord blood does not contain enough stem cells to transplant an adult, so if the cord blood was used, they would still have to find a second matching unit, that would need to also be a match with your child.

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