Friday, 19 September 2014

Update 46 - HSCT cure for CIDP - Facts (4)


During the whole process you need what is called an octopus (or mini octopus) - which is a series of tubes and pipes directly connected to your juggler vein.

This allows the drugs to be administered easily.

The chemo is a series of bottles around 3/4 to 1 pint in size, to be administered  during the day/evening.  It seems there are around 7 to 9 and a couple are for protecting the kidneys, plus a mix of pills for antibiotic, antiviral and gastrointestinal needs.

The chemo is administered over three or four days, but other fluids are administered in similar manner to manage the side effects over the next couple of days.

Other pills include:

Cyclophosphamide 200 mg/kg b.w. (SD) for for 4 days with a single dose of rituximab at the end of treatment (Rituximab 375-500 mg/m*2).

These are provided after the main chemo.  There are lots of potential issues with the process, as it is very invasive to the body.  That is why there are a considerable number of anti-chemo drugs supplied to assist.  The process can rate as medium on a pain threshold scales and the body will "ache" plus commonly difficulty in sleeping.

The side effects of the chemo include:

  • Loss of hair - which will eventually grow back, but almost as fluff initially and it takes 3-6 months, or so!
  • Chemo brain - this effects a significant number of patients from all chemotherapy, but at quite different levels.  The basic condition is loss of cognitive function (mental abilities) and has been proved to exist.  This is considered temporary. however can last for a considerable time after the treatment.
  • Damage to Organs - Heart, Liver & Kidney seem to be the main ones that could have issues, though the drugs and monitoring seem to reduce the issues

On a side issue about how many cells need to be harvested before the process can begin.  The absolute minimum appears to be around 1.5 million, with 2 - 8 million being an accepted amount.  However certain organisations want to have lots more than this, which obviously takes a lot more time and pain, due to the extra stimulation.  Numbers as high as 60 million have been reported, but there seems to be no need for it to be this high and have no benefits to the patient (e.g. faster recovery) that has been proven, up to the time of me writing this,