print this page

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Chemotherapy with Stem Cell Support?


Who are Pediatric Oncologists?


What is Chemotherapy with Stem Cell Support?

Chemotherapy with Stem Cell Support - One trend in oncology care is the use of high dose chemotherapy in tumors such as breast cancer, lymphoma, testicular or related tumors. These may be in the advanced stage at the time of diagnosis. As a result, they may respond only partially to chemotherapy. High dose chemotherapy with bone marrow and stem cell support may then be indicated. In the Operating Room, bone marrow cells are collected from the hip bone. Peripheral stem cell may also be collected by placing patients on the medication called colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) then pheresing (removal of the patient's blood cells by a machine) off the cells.  High dose chemotherapy is then given to treat the primary tumor.  At the time when all the cell-killing effect has ceased, the bone marrow and stem cells are returned to the patient.  For chemotherapy and marrow reinfusion, patients are admitted to a private Hepa-filter room.  This special filter circulates the air to keep the area as clean from "germs" as possible.  Bone marrow and stem cells are reinfused at the bedside by specially trained doctors and nurses.  Medications called colony stimulating factors, are used to speed the return of bone marrow production of white blood cells.  Strict precautions are followed to prevent infection.  A low bacteria diet is followed to minimize infection of the gastrointestinal tract.  Oral antibiotics are also given to cleanse the digestive tract.  The entire process, from chemotherapy to discharge, takes about one month.  The goal of such a program is to be able to deliver curative doses of chemotherapy safely in high risk patients.

Return to top


Who are Pediatric Oncologists?

Pediatric Hematology/Oncologist are pediatricians who have completed three years of specialty training in pediatric hematology/oncology.  Hematology is the study and care of blood disorders; oncology is the study and care of cancer.  Pediatric Hematology/Oncologist provide care for children and young adults and places particular emphasis on managing the child's disease within the context of the child's family and carefully taking note of their developmental and education needs.

Return to top