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Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation

Currently, Dr. Kaya and his team have completed over 240 stem cell 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 stem cell transplantation, doctors collect your own 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.

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, a 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 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 the Inland Northwest 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.

CCNW Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, Dr. Danko Martinic, is also an experienced stem cell transplant physician and has spent almost 15 years in research related to why cancer cells are resistant to certain chemotherapy agents and mechanisms involved in blood coagulation. He has special interest in hematologic malignancies, including leukemias and lymphomas. 

Emily Hodgson, RN, BSN, is the coordinator of the regional transplant program. Emily has worked as an oncology nurse for nine years. Emily 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 and Dr. Martincic, with assistance of staff and physicians of Cancer Care Northwest, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Inland Northwest Blood Center and other local specializing physicians, have successfully completed over 240 transplants in Spokane. 

To better prepare yourself for a stem cell transplant, we invite you to talk with your Cancer Care Northwest physician, or visit Cancer.net