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Stem Cell Transplant- can you give me insight?
Jan 12, 2002

I have an appointment for Stem Cell Transplant. Can you tell anything about the procedure? When I do this I will still be taking my HIV medications and yes my viral load is still <50 and CD4 300.This is very anxiety provoking what insight can you give me.

Response from Dr. Dezube

A stem cell transplant is a procedure by which you will have stem cells removed from your blood and preserved. You will then receive high dose chemotherapy, which will hopefully kill any tumor cells remaining in your body. You will then receive the stem cells back, which will find their way to the bone marrow and allow your body to recover from the effects of the chemotherapy. Stem cells are master cells which have the genetic code in them allowing them to turn into all the necessary blood elements. There's a pretty good track record for stem cell transplants, though transplant centers have not been offering them to HIV positive patients until quite recently. I am assuming that you have either relapsed Hodgkin's disease or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; these are the two most common settings for HIV'ers to be offered a transplant. Good luck!


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