Stem cell transplant gives lymphoma survivor more time with kids

Kate Arnold isn’t entirely sure when her journey with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma started. “I probably was walking around with cancer for a long time,” she says. Aside from fatigue and slight pain from what she thought was an ovarian cyst, she didn’t really have any non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms. “It wasn’t until we were scheduling surgery to have it removed and I had an internal ultrasound that we realized that it was not an ovarian cyst; it was a 15-centimeter mass in my abdomen,” she says. A non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis In June 2008, a CT scan confirmed that Kate had stage IV follicular monocleave cell lymphoma, a slow-progressing type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “We were completely shocked, completely overwhelmed. It was like the whole world stopped,” she says. Kate received eight rounds of chemotherapy at a hospital near her home in Mettawa, Illinois. She went into remission that November but relapsed three months later. Hoping to avoid the possibility of stem cell transplantation, she opted for radioimmunology treatment at a Chicago hospital. When that and an immunotherapy clinical trial didn’t work, her doctor told her that the only remaining option was an allogeneic stem cell transplant, which would use stem cells from a donor. “It’s a world-class hospital, but when I was looking at the number of allogeneic stem cells they do a year, I just wasn’t comfortable,” she said. Choosing MD Anderson for an allogeneic stem cell transplant So her oncologist recommended she come to MD Anderson and meet with Richard Champlin, M.D., about her stem cell transplant. “Dr. Champlin himself reached out to me. Normally a doctor has his APNs...