Currently, Dr. Kaya and his team have completed over 300 autologous transplants.
High-dose chemotherapy can be very effective in destroying certain cancers, but the intense therapy can also damage healthy cells and increase your chance of infection and other health problems.
In a process called autologous transplantation, doctors collect your own blood-forming stem cells before you receive the high-dose chemotherapy. They return the healthy stem cells to you after treatment, improving your body’s ability to recover.
Before your high-dose chemotherapy, your doctor uses a machine similar to a dialysis machine to collect and temporarily store your stem cells. Stem cells, found mainly in bone marrow, are the cells from which all blood cells develop.
After the high-dose chemotherapy is delivered to kill the cancer cells, your healthy stem cells are returned to you intravenously (IV) to replace the stem cells that were destroyed by the therapy. Your body uses these stem cells to reestablish your bone marrow where your blood cells are produced.
Autologous stem cell transplantation and high-dose chemotherapy is most often used to treat patients with multiple myeloma and recurrent lymphoma (including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma). This treatment modality is occasionally used to treat other cancers such as recurrent testicular cancer.
Because no procedure is without risk and because recovery can be substantial, an autologous stem cell transplant is not for everyone. A medical oncologist that specializes in stem cell transplantation can help you determine if this is the right treatment option for you.
Cancer Care Northwest is a regional leader in autologous stem cell transplantation.
Our very own Dr. Hakan Kaya is director of the Inland Northwest Myeloma/Lymphoma and Transplant Program, a collaboration between Cancer Care Northwest, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Vitalant Blood Center.
Dr. Kaya is the region’s only physician who has completed a formal stem cell transplantation fellowship. Prior to joining Cancer Care Northwest, he worked at a center in North Carolina (Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University) for three years, where he gained significant experience in all aspects of stem cell transplantation.
Sherry Schisler, RN, MSN, is the coordinator of the regional transplant program, and has worked as an oncology nurse since 2009. She is responsible for preparing patients for transplants, educating patients and families throughout all phases of the process and providing long-term follow-up care.
Dr. Kaya, with assistance of staff and physicians of Cancer Care Northwest, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Vitalant and other local specializing physicians, have successfully completed over 300 transplants in Spokane.