Diagnosed with Cancer? Your two greatest challenges are understanding cancer and understanding possible side effects from chemo and radiation.  Knowledge is Power!

Learn about conventional, complementary, and integrative therapies.

Dealing with treatment side effects? Learn about evidence-based therapies to alleviate your symptoms.

Click the orange button to the right to learn more.

Myeloma-Overthinking Autologous Stem Cell Transplant?

Share Button

They found the incidence of oligoclonal patterns (causing confusion) was significantly higher in multiple myeloma patients who had an autologous stem cell transplant than the patients who had chemotherapy alone: 57.9 percent compared to 8.8 percent.

Let me get this straight. Dr. Singh is pointing out that the confusion caused by elaborate testing of multiple myeloma patients is due to autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT)?

What diagnostic tests are required for an autologous stem cell transplant for myeloma?

  1. Bone Marrow Biopsy: This is usually performed to assess the extent of the disease in the bone marrow and to determine the suitability for transplantation.
  2. Blood Tests: Blood tests are essential to evaluate kidney function, liver function, blood cell counts, and levels of specific proteins associated with myeloma, such as beta-2 microglobulin and serum protein electrophoresis.
  3. Imaging Tests: Imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, or PET scans are often conducted to assess the extent of the disease, identify any bone damage, and evaluate the overall response to treatment.
  4. Cardiac Evaluation: Depending on the patient’s age and medical history, cardiac evaluation, which may include an echocardiogram or cardiac stress test, might be required to ensure the patient can tolerate the intensive treatment regimen.
  5. Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs): These tests are sometimes performed to assess lung function, especially in patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions or a history of smoking.
  6. Infectious Disease Screening: Patients may undergo screening tests for infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and tuberculosis to ensure that the transplant can be performed safely.
  7. Assessment of Stem Cell Collection: Prior to transplantation, the patient will undergo a process called stem cell mobilization and collection, during which stem cells are collected from the patient’s blood. The number of stem cells collected and their viability will be assessed.
  8. Comprehensive Physical Examination: A thorough physical examination is conducted to assess the patient’s overall health status and to identify any potential contraindications to transplantation.

Could Dr. Singh also be thinking about the fact that autologous stem cell transplant does not lead to longer average overall survival in myeloma patients?

Countless studies confirm that ASCT does not result in longer overall survival (OS-length of life) but it can lead to longer progression-free survival (PFS-remission).

Or that the myeloma specialist who has the longest average overall survival statistics, Dr. James Berenson, does not believe in autologous stem cell transplantation? At all? Ever?

I’m not trying to bad mouth all MM oncologists. Most of the doctors that I know are well-trained, hard-working clinicians. What I am saying is that oncology is a business.

Autologous stem cell transplantation is an incredibly expensive procedure. An expensive procedure that health insurance pays for. Mostly. It is a procedure that causes a great deal of toxicity and collateral damage in the patients that are supposed to heal. And finally, it is a procedure that does not lead to long remissions for many patients.

I am one of those patients. I am a long-term MM survivor and MM cancer coach. My conventional therapies led to remissions, relapses and a diagnosis of terminal MM.

I achieved a complete remission after undergoing an experimental therapy about a year and a half later. I have remained in complete remission from my “incurable” cancer by living an evidence-based, non-toxic, anti-MM lifestyle through nutrition, supplementation, bone health, detoxification and other therapies.

To learn more about autologous stem cell transplantation for myeloma click now

Have you been diagnosed with MM? What stage? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Test results after stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma can confuse patients and doctors about

“With multiple myeloma, the start primarily producing instead a singular product, called a monoclonal antibody, or M spike, that leaves vulnerable for serious infections, like pneumonia, and can even eat away at their bones…

Sophisticated laboratory tests used to both diagnose the disease then follow treatment response, can send confusing messages to patients and their physicians, particularly after to try to restore a healthy antibody mix, says Dr. Gurmukh Singh…

The tests, serum protein electrophoresis and serum immunofixation electrophoresis, or SPEP/SIFE, and serum free light chain assay, or SFLCA, separate proteins into groups according to their electrical charge.

The M spike stands out as a distinctive, dense band of color among the layers of protein groups, while typical antibody levels create bands of lighter smears…

They found the incidence of oligoclonal patterns (causing confusion) was significantly higher in patients who had a stem cell transplant than the patients who had chemotherapy alone: 57.9 percent compared to 8.8 percent. Only five of the 159 patients who received a transplant had an oligoclonal pattern before treatment but 92 had one afterward. More than half of the the oligoconal patterns developed within the first year following a transplant. The earliest pattern was detected at two months – as soon as the first post-transplant tests were done—and a few occurred as long as five years later…”

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma - PeopleBeatingCancer says last year

[…] Multiple Myeloma- Overthinking Autologous Stem Cell Transplant […]

Add Your Reply