We recent asked our transplant coordinator what the difference is in different types of transplants. This is the explanation that he gave us.
When looking for a donor for Stem Cell Transplant, the best one would be: in the order of having the best choice -
1. Autologous Transplant – meaning your own (this type of transplant is only used in certain diseases where your marrow is not affected by the disease, so this would not work for Sal).2. Sibling Donor who is a perfect match to patient3. Unrelated Donor who is a perfect match to patient4. Unrelated Donor who may not be a perfect match but still is within the range of a safe transplant5. Cord Blood Donor that is a good match to patient.Cord Blood is used as a last resort because of the complications of GVHD (Graft versus Host Disease). GVHD can still be controlled with medications that is started at Transplant.Sal’s Dr. did not want to start searching for a Cord Blood Donor for Sal since the chemotherapy that he has been receiving is controlling the leukemia at the present time. Eventually Sal will need an Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant and at that time his Doctor wants to make sure we have something available for the transplant.
At this time, there is not a donor that is a perfect or even a some what perfect match, so the doctor is now widening the range to look in the cord blood donor database. As you can tell this is not the best option. We are hoping with the help of our friends and family we can spread the word of how important it is to register as a bone marrow donor.
Please go to http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/salaguirre and register today, if you do not qualify because of age or health, please donate to help raise money to cover the cost of the tests that are sent out each day.