Treatment of some blood cancers wipes out healthy
Stem cells, immature cells that become various blood
cells, are needed to replenish them
That used to mean surgery to collect the cells from
bone marrow, but now there's an easier way.
Martie Salt has the story.
INSIDE THESE CANISTERS ARE FROZEN STEMS CELLS WITH
THE POWER TO PROLONG LIFE.
GEORGE SCHWARTZ SAYS HE'S LIVING PROOF.
So far, I'm in total remission, and I'm looking forward
to a few more years.
THREE YEARS AGO, THE ART RESTORER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH
MULTIPLE MYELOMA my-LOH-mah, A RARE BLOOD CANCER.
THE ONLY HOPE WAS HIGH DOSES OF CHEMOTHERAPY TO KILL
THE BAD CELLS, BUT CHEMO KILLS THE HEALTHY ONES TOO,
MEANING A PAINFUL BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT.
We literally had to do surgeries obtaining the stem
cells that regrow the blood cells after chemotherapy
from the bone marrow.
DOCTORS CAN NOW PUSH THE STEM CELLS FROM THE BONE
MARROW AND INTO THE BLOOD WHERE THEY ARE EASY TO COLLECT
WITHOUT AN OPERATION.
I sat in a bed at the hospital, the clinic, and they
THE BLOOD CONTAINING THE STEM CELLS IS STORED, FROZEN,
IN A LAB UNTIL THE PATIENT IS ADMITTED INTO THE HOSPITAL
A day or two later, the previously collected stem
cells are infused into the vein just like a blood
STUDIES SHOW THAT MULTIPLE MYELOMA my-LOH-mah PATIENTS
WHO UNDERGO BOTH CHEMO AND A STEM CELL TRANSPLANT
SURVIVE LONGER AND WITHOUT SYMPTOMS.
My youngest daughter got married and I was able to
dance with her at her wedding, and now I'm looking
forward to her having a baby.
SCHWARTZ IS HOPING TO WATCH HIS GRANDCHILD GROW UP.
I'M MARTIE SALT, REPORTING.