“In having BMT, Jan has taken control over the disease and dramatically increased his chances of surviving long-term.”

This is Jan, with Dr. Ovilla 4 months after Allogeneic BMT to treat relapsed Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Treating cancer in the first place isn’t always the hard bit. The challenge is often staying in remission. Just one cancerous cell remaining after chemotherapy can cause a relapse. In many cases, genetic mutations allow blood cells to produce at a more rapid rate, meaning that the race to stop the cancer is even tougher.

Jan relapsed after being in remission from Acute Mylogenous Leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells.  Although more conventional treatment is available to relapsed AML patients, the only realistic long term option is bone marrow transplant.

A closely matching donor was found to minimize the risks of the donated cells identifying Jan’s cells as different and a threat, which can lead to GVHD.

Although the BMT does not guarantee that the AML will not relapse, the chances are significantly reduced and, if Jan does relapse, more cells from the original transplant donor could fight the cancer, in a phenomenon known as graft versus disease effect.