Treatment Update: Immunosuppressant Therapy

Biopsy results and path from here

As I posted back in October, my transplant doctor wanted me to discontinue my chemotherapy and see if my bone marrow loss was due to it or to the cancer. I had the second biopsy on December 18th, and received the results today. The bad news is there was no change in the results following the discontinuing of chemotherapy. But the good news is there were no cancer cells in the sample, which means the MDS is not progressing to leukemia. Based on these results and other genetic testing, it appears that I have a subtype known as hypoplastic MDS.

Instead of producing malformed blood cells, as is the case with normal MDS, hypoplastic MDS doesn’t produce anything at all. It’s, brace yourself if you know my medical history, rare with less than 12% of the cases of MDS being this type. But, this type of MDS combined with a genetic marker I have, sometimes responds well to¬†immunosuppressant therapy.

So, before going forward  with a bone marrow transplant, they want to give it a try. If everything works out right with scheduling, I will have the in-patient portion of the treatment started later this month. It is 5 days of infusions, with them closely monitoring my reactions for two to three weeks following.

It’s not quite what I was expecting to hear, but it is a definite plan of action. And one that will hopefully have a positive outcome. Afterwards, they will see how I respond after three months, then move forward with it either working, or us going ahead with a transplant.

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