Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is a popular treatment option for eligible individuals with multiple myeloma. It can allow people with multiple myeloma to grow healthy blood cells again. However, ASCT can cause some severe side effects.
Some people refer to autologous transplantation as “autotransplantation.” However, autotransplantation more commonly refers to physical organ transplants. Autologous stem cell transplantation is a
MM is a type of cancer that affects the formation of blood cells within the bone marrow.
This article will explain the nature of ASCT and its relevance to MM and compare it with a different form of stem cell transplantation. It will then look at the success rate, side effects, and results of ASCT.
A person’s stem cells, or blood-forming cells, lie within their bone marrow and blood. As the
If this treatment damages the remaining healthy stem cells, doctors will
As MM is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow, ASCT can be very helpful. A
When someone with MM uses ASCT alongside other forms of medication, they can improve their overall chances of survival and lower the odds of disease progression.
- Autologous stem cell transplantation: This type uses stem cells from the person who receives the transplant. It is a standard treatment for MM.
- Allogeneic stem cell transplantation: This type uses stem cells from someone else. It is only available for MM through clinical trials.
Neither form of transplant is guaranteed to succeed.
Autologous transplants can keep a person with MM in remission for a long time — possibly even years. However, it is not a curative treatment, and the MM
As autologous transplants use a person’s own stem cells, the body is
Both forms of stem cell transplantation carry risks and benefits. Nevertheless, it is
Since doctors administer ASCT alongside other forms of medication, which may vary from person to person, it is difficult to determine its success rate.
A 2020 review found that the 5-year survival rate of people with MM after ASCT was 63%.
The survival rate refers to the proportion of people who are still alive for a length of time after receiving a particular diagnosis. For example, a 5-year survival rate of 50% means that 50%, or half, of the people are still alive 5 years after receiving the diagnosis.
It is important to remember that these figures are estimates and are based on the results of previous studies or treatments. A person can consult a healthcare professional about how their condition is going to affect them.
Scientists also know that various other factors can affect the success of ASCT. For instance, a
Complications occur in less than 1% of procedures.
After the bone marrow aspiration, doctors can proceed to treat the MM itself. When the individual recovers from the treatment, doctors can reintroduce the removed stem cells to their body. This occurs via an infusion, which may take up to 2 hours.
ASCT can also lead to side effects similar to those of chemotherapy and radiation, though they may be more severe. These include:
There is also
Although scientists are unsure how quickly such relapses can occur after treatment, there is evidence that
The overall outlook for people with MM varies from person to person and relates to how well they respond to treatment.
Certain forms of treatment can greatly improve life expectancy. For example, a
MM is nonetheless a serious condition, with symptoms and treatments that can be very challenging.
A person may wish to discuss the pros and cons of ASCT with their doctor before deciding to undergo this treatment.
ASCT involves taking stem cells from a person’s bone marrow. Doctors may choose to do this before a person undergoes an aggressive form of treatment, so they can reintroduce the healthy stem cells afterward to help the body recover.
Multiple myeloma affects the bone marrow, so stem cell transplantation can be especially helpful in bolstering the body’s production of healthy blood cells.
However, as with any form of cancer treatment, ASCT can have significant adverse effects. Scientists will continue in their attempts to improve the efficacy and tolerability of ASCT for people with MM.