HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL TRANSPLANT (HSCT) for MULTIPLE
This treatment is designed to reset your immune system and
halt the progression and activity of multiple sclerosis.
My own stem cells will be collected and frozen before
high-dose chemotherapy is given, and then returned to my body intravenously, after the high-dose chemotherapy, to
replace the stem cells/immune system that were destroyed.
For approximately four days (twice a day), I will be given
injections to stimulate my stem cell growth. The process of causing greater numbers of stem cells to be
present in the blood stream in order for collection, is known as mobilization. The most common
side effect of the mobilization process is mild-to-moderate bone pain or fever.
Apheresis (Collection of Stem Cells)
Apheresis is normally a painless procedure, however, back
and hip pain have been reported. The collection of stem cells takes approximately two to four hours for the
procedure. My blood will be withdrawn through a catheter and circulated through a cell-separating
machine. This machine separates and collects white blood cells, including the stem cells, along with a few
red blood cells and platelets. The remaining blood cells will be returned to my body. There is only a
small amount (several cups) of your blood in the separator machine at any one time. Your blood is returned to
you at the same rate it is removed. After the cells are collected, they are frozen and stored under
special conditions until they are needed for my transplant.
Approximately four days of chemotherapy will be utilized to
wipe out my existing immune system. Bloodwork will determine when the immune system has been sufficiently
“shut down” in preparation for the stem cell transplant. At this point, the status of my isolation will be
raised and only doctors and nurses will be permitted to enter my room.
Stem Cell Transplant
After the high-dose chemotherapy is completed, my own stem
cells will be given back to me. There are few side effects to this procedure. It is very much like a
blood transfusion. You may notice some chilling, nausea, fever, cough, flushing, headache, abdominal cramps or
diarrhea. The nurses will give me medication to decrease these effects.
Although a stem cell transplant sounds dramatic, the actual
procedure is simple. The stored frozen cells will be thawed in warm water, and infused back into my
One to three weeks following my transplant, signs that my
stem cells/new immune sytem are growing (engrafting) and beginning to produce blood cells are expected. This
“new” immune system will have no memory of MS. As this starts to occur, I may notice aching in my bones,
especially my pelvis, lower back and thighs. As my blood counts begin to rise, my white blood cells will
start to fight and prevent infections. Soon after this occurs, I will be released from the
It takes an average of 12-18 months to see the complete
benefits of this treatment, however, some patients have continued to see improvement for up to five years
post-transplant. In addition to halting the progression and activity of their MS, 80% of HSCT patients see a
reversal of 45-80% of their pre-existing symptoms.
Click Here to learn more about my HSCT Treatment in
Trials here in the USA.
Here are all the locations that
offer HSCT in the World.