Dedicated to the memory of Mike Oliver  

Stem Cell Transplant 

Stem cell transplants are performed in conjunction with high dose chemotherapy to treat patients diagnosed with POEMS*. 


Stem cells are a special type of cell that divide and create red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.  They are found in the bone marrow and bloodstream and make up a tiny percent (less than 1%) of your overall number of cells.


The division of stem cells is important because the high dose chemo destroys both good and bad cells.  Prior to the actual transplant, stem cells are collected and stored so that they can be infused back into the bloodstream after the high dose chemo session.  From reading, we understand that new blood cells begin being produced 12-15 days after the transplant.


Mike’s Process:

  • After undergoing three sessions of chemotherapy, Mike will undergo a two day high dose chemotherapy session. 
  • The following week, he will go in on a daily basis to receive shots to “stimulate” the stem cells.  Since most stem cells “live” in the bone marrow, the shots will push more of them out into the bloodstream for collection.
  • The following week begins the collection of the stem cells.  We were told that it would be a two to four day process.  Once the necessary amount is collected, they are stored and held until he enters the hospital for the transplant.
  • The next phase is an approximate four week wait period.  We are expecting for him to go into the hospital to undergo the transplant mid-December.  From what we understand, it involves another two days of high dose chemotherapy, followed by the stem cell transplant on the third day.


*Stem cell transplants are also used to treat patients with myeloma and other conditions; it is not exclusive to patients with POEMS.