Friday, November 18, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant

About three weeks ago I mentioned the possibility of having an adult autologous stem cell transplant,  Since then I have been researching it thoroughly and I'm amazed not more has been done to promote this treatment further.  Doctors do not like to use the word cured, but to all intents and purposes people with auto immune diseases have been "cured".

Below are two links to trials of stem cell transplants for people who have had an auto immune disease.

Systemic Sclerosis

The results are amazing.  Everyone treated with stem cells showed improvement.  Generally, auto immune diseases are degenerative, so to see improvement in 100% of patients is wonderful achievement.  In terms of CIDP, I have read many blogs and accounts of people who have had the procedure, and all have reported improvement, some have even said they are cured.

So, what is the catch?  First, it is dangerous.  In order for the stem cells to take a patient has to be completely neutropenic (no immune system at all).  This is achieved with high dose chemotherapy.  With a weakened body due to chemo and no immune system, one is highly susceptible to infection.

Second, it is expensive.  In order for me to have the treatment I have to pay about $150,000 to $200,000.  This is a problem that means that a number of people cannot have the procedure simply because they can't afford it.

However, the more I think about it the more I think that it is the only option.  If I can get accepted into the trial I will find the money to go.  To me it is a no brainer.  If I had to live with this disease I could, but if I don't have to I won't, and I am prepared to take big risks to achieve that.  Stay well:)

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