Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Results of donor search

A flood of info came in today about the donor search. If you remember, there were three 6/6 potential donors and one 9/10 potential donor. Amazingly, all 4 have been contacted and went in for blood tests, and here are the results:

  1. 6/6 donor (46/female/US) - mismatched at HLA-A allele, DRB1 antigen, DQB1 antigen (too many mismatches)
  2. 6/6 donor (22/female/US) - mismatched at HLA-B allele (best)
  3. 6/6 donor (46/female/Europe) - mismatched at DRB1 antigen, DQB1 antigen (too many mismatches)
  4. 9/10 donor (39/female/US) - mismatched at HLA-B antigen (2nd best)

What this means is that none of the donors are a full 10/10 match, but the #2 donor (22/female/US) is the best match since she only mismatches at a single HLA allele (an allele is sort of like a sub-component of an antigen). Unfortunately, mismatching at an HLA-A or HLA-B allele isn't so great, since it's been found to be a significant factor for the occurrence of graft-versus-host disease after the transplant. In larger studies a mismatch at either of these has been shown to reduce overall survival rates. So while everything could still go perfectly fine, basically the odds go up that there will be complications. There is a discussion going on between the transplant physician and my doctors to see how we will proceed. The main issue is whether to risk using a 9/10 donor now to get to transplant quicker or waiting for a better donor and risking the disease progressing to something worse.

Also, I had another platelet transfusion on Saturday (whoopee) which seems to be par for the course now (a transfusion a week after the end of every chemo round), so now that the chemo is done and the transfusion is out of the way, the next 2-3 weeks should be pretty normal again. I’m scheduled for another marrow biopsy 2 weeks from now and we will decide whether to do another round of the same chemo, or go with induction therapy, which is a very intensive form of chemo that may require in-patient care. The purpose of induction chemo is to get the disease into remission to bide more time.

Johanna and I are thinking it might be time to organize a marrow drive to see if we can get a better donor.

That’s it for now.


obscurity said...

Well that's not exactly chipper news. I can't believe they haven't discovered that I'm the perfect match yet. *tsk*tsk*tsk*

IN a related story, what's a "Marrow Drive" and what can I do to help with one? You know, I have over 2 weeks of vacation before 12/31 ... so let me know

Nic said...

Same goes for me, let me know if there's anything I can do to help with a Marrow Drive... fund raising, volunteers, just plain ole participation... lemme know and I'll get on it!

George said...

Good lord that's confusing. Sounds like a good name for a street though... Marrow Drive. Yeah let me know what I can do to help for the Detroit chapter.

Steve Rider said...

I dunno how effective a marrow drive will be, but I'll let you know. That reminds me, I have a friend at work who keeps trying to convince me to call it a "Bitchin' Camaro Transplant" instead of "Bone Marrow Transplant" :) I thought that was cool.