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My ET Has Progressed to MF: Am I a Candidate for Stem Cell Transplant?

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Published on April 27, 2016

Transcript | My ET Has Progressed to MF: Am I a Candidate for Stem Cell Transplant?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Here’s a question we got in from Betty, who is living with ET.  She says, “I’m an ET patient for the last 16 years with a recent diagnosis change to myelofibrosis following a bone marrow biopsy.  What are the general considerations or criteria for putting patients on a stem cell transplant list?”

Dr. Pemmaraju: 

A couple of things: one is because allogeneic transplant remains the only curative option it is something that needs to be discussed in the clinic visit.  Two is because there isn’t any standard set of guidelines, and sometimes either the insurance or other bodies don’t always give clearance for these procedures we need more studies.  Having said that, in terms of our clinical experience, there is a role.  I would say the patient who is younger than age 65, who is fit without too many other co-morbidities, and has intermediate to high-risk myelofibrosis we think it’s a good option.  So the answer succinctly is yes, there is a role, and this should be discussed with this patient.

For the general myelofibrosis population, it’s not always an option.  That’s because a lot of our patients are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. And although they are overall able to do a lot of their activities of daily living, they may not be a great candidate for a transplant which involves serious and significant chemotherapy and side effects and so on.

So I think the role for those patients will either be the reduced intensity approach, which does not require as much conditioning or various different changes to stem cell transplant as a process.  But for this patient’s question—ET transformed to myelofibrosis—sure, this is a much more serious condition, and I think myelofibrosis in general is a good one to have a discussion with a doctor about stem cell transplant.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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