NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
34 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma, 2017 3 Overview of cancer treatments Blood stem cell transplant which includes recovery time. The aspiration will likely cause some pain and soreness for a few days. Anesthesia may cause nausea, headache, and tiredness. After apheresis or aspiration, the harvested cells will be combined with a preservative. Then, they will be frozen and stored to keep them alive until the transplant. This process is called cryopreservation. High-dose chemotherapy Before the autologous transplant, you will likely receive high doses of chemotherapy. High doses are given to kill any cancer cells that may remain after prior treatment. Chemotherapy is often received for several days. The transplant will occur 1 or 2 days later to allow the chemotherapy to clear from your body. Otherwise, the chemotherapy could damage the healthy stem cells. Transplanting your blood stem cells After chemotherapy, you will receive your healthy stem cells through a transfusion. A transfusion is a slow injection of blood products through a central line into a large vein. A central line (or central venous catheter) is a thin tube. The tube will be inserted into your skin through one cut and into your vein through a second cut. Local anesthesia is used. This process can take several hours to complete. The transplanted stem cells will travel to your bone marrow and grow. New, healthy blood cells will form. This is called engraftment. It usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks. Until then, you will have little or no immune defense. You will need to stay in a very clean room at the hospital. You may be given an antibiotic to prevent or treat infection. You may also be given a blood platelet transfusion to prevent bleeding and blood transfusion to treat low red blood counts (anemia). While waiting for the cells to engraft, you will likely feel tired and weak. Complementary and alternative medicine CAM ( c omplementary and a lternative m edicine) is a group of treatments that aren’t often given by doctors. There is much interest today in CAM for cancer. Many CAMs are being studied to see if they are truly helpful. Complementary medicines are treatments given along with usual medical treatments. While CAMs aren’t known to kill cancer cells, they may improve your comfort and well- being. Two examples are acupuncture for pain management and yoga for relaxation. Alternative medicine is used in place of usual medicine. Some alternative medicines are sold as cures even though they haven’t been proven to work in clinical trials. If there was good proof that CAMs or other treatments cured cancer, they would be included in this book. It is important to tell your treatment team if you are using any CAMs. They can tell you which CAMs may be helpful and which CAMs may limit how well medical treatments work.