Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bone Marrow Matching: Round 1 Results

We found out the preliminary results of the bone marrow matching today.  We didn't originally realize that  further tests would be required after these results in order to find the best match, but preliminarily the news was unexpectedly good. 

Spencer has four siblings and based on these first tests, three of them are perfect matches (thus far in the process).  The hospital said to have that many matches, even in this first step, is so unheard of that they double checked the results just to make sure. 

Even while they were gushing about how they'd never seen that many matches before, they were also quick to tell us not to be too relieved yet, since more extensive (and expensive) testing still needs to be done. 

We'll take what we can get.    
All three of his sisters are 6 out of 6 HLA matches.   


Random Facts about Bone Marrow Transplants

The preliminary bone marrow matching tests 6 HLA markers in the blood.  The remaining 4 markers  are much more expensive to test for, so they do the preliminary testing to weed out the number that move on to further testing.  All three girls will go onto the further testing.  The most successful transplants have 10 out of 10 matches. 

If an in-family perfect match is found, then round 4 of Spencer's chemo will be performed at Children's Hospital  in Washington, DC.  The chemo will be very intense and will basically destroy his immune system in its entirety before the transplant.  The whole process is expected to take about 2 months in the hospital and another 2-4 months of recovery. 

Bone marrow transplants are risky, but also give the greatest chance for a complete cure.  Having an in-family match maximizes the chances for success.     

A bone marrow donor can have a different type of blood than the recipient.  In this case, after the transplant is done the recipient often changes blood types to match the donor.

The bone marrow recipient will also often develop similar allergies as the donor, since basically their immune systems will be the same afterward. 


 

14 comments:

K said...

What great news! I hope someone is a perfect match!

Emma's hair looks super duper cute!

annalisa said...

I hope one of them is a match!

monica said...

Just wow.

Steve-Rosanna said...

That is such cool news! When RaChel-mom's sister need a bone marrow transplant, only one of her ten siblings was a match-her oldest brother Waldo. And it worked as she has been cured for more than 20 years.

To have all three sisters as 6-for-6 matches is amazing. Will be interesting to see which one ends up the best match for Spencer.

Thanks for sharing the good news!

Too bad that you couldn't find your barber shears today. But, we will be home tomorrow night and have the before and after pix over to you first thing Thursday morning.

Matthew K said...

That is amazing. Will they do the more extensive testing on all three of them at the same time, or because it is so expensive, will they do one by one until they find the perfect match? And I agree about Emma's hair as well.

Grandpa-Grandma said...

Love, love Emma's new pixie cut!!!

Deanne said...

Yay! (I also love Emma's hair. Did she get it cut recently?...Oh, maybe a donation? It's cute!)

Andie said...

FABULOUS NEWS!!!

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

Great News!

Lillian Sun Tadlock said...

Wow -- exciting update! Keeping our fingers continually crossed. LOVE Emma's new haircut! C donated today :) S is disappointed her hair is not long enough...

Momma Nielson said...

I always knew your family was one in a million and this proves it:) I hope and pray that the further testing yields similar results:)

K said...

I also wanted to ask, do any of your girls suffer from allergies? Just wondering since they would pass them on to Spence. Interesting that they don't have to have the same type of blood and that you can change blood types. I am learning all sorts of fascinating things through your blog. Of course, they may all be things none of us wishes we had to know...

And I want to mention again how exciting that you have THREE matches in your family!!

Cindy said...

That's great news!

Chrissy said...

This is amazing. We are praying one of those amazing girls is a perfect match! xoxoxoxo

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