Buddhist Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center Buddhist Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center BTCSCC-Chinese BTCSCC-English
Space distance>> Home
Space distance Space distance Space distance
Space distance

 

Questions from patient

 

1. General Questions

 
Q1.
Can my disease be really cured by bone marrow transplant?
 
A:
Many blood diseases such as Thalassemia, chronic and acute anemia, Multiple myeloma and or solid cancers (bone cancer, breast cancer) can be cured by bone marrow transplant. To proceed a bone marrow transplant requires an HLA-matched donor as well as team work of the entire medical personnel.
     
 
Q2.
Where to proceed a bone marrow transplant?
 
A:
There are a number of domestic hospitals that can do bone marrow transplant. Any cooperative transplant hospital of the Center must be a licensed hospital by Department of Health and, in addition, it must meet the given requirements of the Center, such as case number of transplant and the performances of its medical team.
     
 
Q3.
How much does it cost for a transplant?
 
A:
Besides the cost of finding a matched donor, most of expenses to be paid are charge difference of disinfection ward and use of special medicine due to different conditions. The above transplant fees are to cover 1) matching and collection of hematopoietic cells and 2)medical expenses of hematopoietic cells transplant. The former is collected by the center while the latter is paid to transplant hospital. Though the latter can be covered by health insurance, but the patient is still to pay the deficiency from insurance-covered portion. If the patient cannot afford the both expenses, an application can be filed with Tzu Chi Foundation for expense subsidy.
     
 
Q4.
How to file an application with Tzu Chi Foundation for subsidy?
 
A:
When the Center receive the application submitted by the patient’s doctor, Tzu Chi volunteer will visit the family; if the family has actual financial problem, application can be made direct to Tzu Chi volunteer.
     
 
Q5.
What is the procedure of hematopoietic cells transplant?
 
A:
1.
Preparation Period : In order to be ready for transplant, you will receive either chemotherapy or radiation or both. It will last several days.
2.
Transplant Period: Healthy stem cells will be infused through intravenous drip, like blood transfusion.
3.
Recovery Period: The infused stem cells begin to regenerate and produce red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets. This is called embedding that takes about 3-4 weeks; the restoration of immune system will take several months more.
     
 
Q6.
How long is the hospitalization?
 
A:
You will stay in the hospital until a discharge is allowed. You may stay in the hospital for several weeks; the actual duration depends on your conditions at the transplant center, before the transplant, during the transplant and after the transplant. Please consult with your doctor for the time of returning home, or removal to the nearest hotel to the transplant center. Your transplant group will keep monitoring your condition and arrange schedule for recheck.

 

2. Matching and Finding a Donor:

 
Q1.
How to find a suitable donor?
 
A:
Matching will be conducted after the Center receive application filed by your doctor; the Center will contact the matched donors and among them find one with healthy condition and suitable for donation.
     
 
Q2.
Can I ask my relatives to have their HLA tissue types examined?
 
A:
As one half of one’s HLA tissue type comes from father and the other half from mother, matching opportunity among one’s sibling is 1/4, very much higher than unrelated matching. When the patient decides to receive a transplant, it is necessary to ask the patient’s sibling to have their HLA tissue type examined.
     
 
Q3.
Whom can I ask about matching?
 
A:
As the Center follows the international progress, any application for matching must be applied by the patient’s doctor. The Center will not contact the patient. If you have any concerns please contact you doctor. We will respond as soon as possible to your doctor.
     
 
Q4.
In the future is it possible to meet the bone marrow donor?
 
A:
For the purpose of protecting the privacy of both the donor and the recipient, they can not meet each other. However they can send their regards to each other via the Center.
     
 
Q5.
How do you find a donor?
 
A:
Following international convention, the Center only accept matching request from the doctors. The Center will try to find the possible matched donor in the registry as they receive the application from the transplant hospital. When they find the right match, they will ask the Tzu Chi volunteers to help contacting the donor.
     
 
Q6.
How would they find a match?
 
A:
The center will search the most suitable match according to their HLA tissue type.
     
 
Q7.
What is the opportunity of a successful match?
 
A:
There is no definite certainty to the match. Also, a patient of different ethnic background might have a different matching opportunity. For example, a Chinese patient might have a greater chance of finding a better match from Tzu Chi’s registry than from any western registry.
     
 
Q8.
What happens if there is a match?
 
A:
When there is a match, the Center will contact your doctor and wait for his reply regarding further confirmation on donor’s blood examination. At the same time we will contact the matched donor(s) on the list for further blood examination as well. If the further examination is successful, then your doctor will contact us and ask if a health check will be conducted for the donor. After making sure the donor’s status, your doctor will contact you to arrange the date of the transplant; at the same time we will contact the donor for the date of marrow harvest.

 

3. During the transplantation

 
Q1.
How do I know if the transplant is the best way for me?
 
A:
Depending on the acuity and type of your illness, your doctor will make assessment and decide if it would be the best for you (the patient) to receive transplant.
     
 
Q2.
Is there any risk for the recipient to get infectious disease from the donor through transplant?
 
A:
Before marrow harvest, examinations will be conducted not only on the donor’s HLA tissue type but also his health condition including test of infectious disease to make sure the donor is suitable to donate. However, if there is only one matched donor available but with infectious disease (ex. Hepatitis B), then the doctor will make assessment and discuss with the patient and the family to decide if the transplant will be proceeded.
     
 
Q3.
What is the cost to find a donor?
 
A:
First phase:
It is free to file an application with the Center. NT$9000 would be charged for HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) testing.
Second phase:

the Center will absorb the fees of blood sample testing for the first five possible donors chosen for the patient (excluding donors who do not give consent, who cannot be contacted, and who have Hepatitis B). Patients will pay for testing fees of the 6th donor and onwards.

Further testing package (including A, B, DR locus) is $9000NT per sample and other locus examination (DR, C or DR) is NT$3000 per sample. The fees are to be reviewed every year and changed when necessary.

Third phase:
When the patient’s doctor asks the donor for a health check, the Center will issue a payment notice to the patient (NT$113,735, for covering health check and stem cells collection). If the donor is determined unfit to donate, the Center will absorb the donor’s health check fees. If the donor is determined to be eligible to donate and the patient decides not to take, the Center will collect the health check fees of NT$20,000 from the patient and later return the remaining fees back to the patient.
    If the patient cannot afford above-mentioned fees due to financial difficulties, the patient can apply for financial subsidy from the Tzu-Chi Foundation.
     

Update: Oct. 2009

Space distance
回最上方‧佛教慈濟骨髓幹細胞中心