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PML - A Family Lost and Confused
Nov 20, 2000

My sister was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago. She went through a stem cell replacement in January of 1999. She had a few set backs but was thriving and surviving. This past July she was diagnosed with PML. When we brought her home from the hospital in September we were told she had three (3) weeks to live. I am very happy to say she is still with us. The PML has affected her vision and movement on her left side. She is not receiving any treatment for the PML since we were told that her remaining quality of life would be affected. When we brought her home from the hospital she was bed ridden and wearing diapers. She is now walking around limited and with help. Her vision and movement have remained the same. She just went for a second MRI. It showed the same as before with no progression. Her Doctors can offer us no explanation. They are as lost and confused as is my entire family who is also stressed to the max. Any insight or information you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Currier

It sounds like her immune system has managed in some way to contain the JC virus (the cause of PML) on its own. That is terrific since there are no medicines known to control JC virus. I think she's been lucky to have improved to the extent that she has, and I hope she maintains this progress. This improvement is likely due to some late improvement in her immune system following the stem cell transplant.

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