WEEI>On Demand>>OMF – Gail Trenholm, 65, acute myeloid leukemia, with Dr. Vincent Ho, clinical director, Stem Cell Transplantation Program, Dana-Farber

OMF – Gail Trenholm, 65, acute myeloid leukemia, with Dr. Vincent Ho, clinical director, Stem Cell Transplantation Program, Dana-Farber

Aug 29, 2016|

Prior to being diagnosed, Gail, a retired nurse, had been sick from what she thought was an abscessed tooth. At a friend’s urging she went to the hospital on New Year’s Day and was diagnosed in January 2013. Her treatment included one round of intense chemotherapy, four weeks in the hospital, and then chemotherapy. She needed to have a stem cell transplant. Gail and her doctors rolled the dice as they had faith the donor stem cells were going to do their job and they did. Gail recently participated in a stage 2 clinical trial for Chronic Graft vs. host disease (GVH). Her steroid dose is slowly being decreased and she sees Dr. Ho once a month. Dr. Ho is part of a team of world-renowned doctors at Dana-Farber in the field of bone marrow and stem cell transplant procedures.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Let me introduce you to Leah a patient doctor Gayle Trent hole. Hails from Pembroke Massachusetts Raikkonen and also doctor Vincent knows the political directors themselves. Transplantation. Program at in arbor is also join it's great to see you again but doc. I am reading your story and so you thought you had an. Helps us to. Edited day ahead outside the pain in the back of my where it eighty. Was to two plus right so into my dentist and they said OK open giants antibiotics and it'll be fine and unfortunately it wasn't fine and went to the primary care. Isn't but a week later she. Put me on a different antibiotic. And it still wasn't getting any better but it worked in the schools of Christmas vacation this coming up. And that negated rest I'll feel much better. And fortunately friend came over I canceled my New Year's disease. And Leon's Ian. Frankie nominee's day and said. You look wage is an effort to taking it to two such a hospital which is what. He did and that's when they told me New Year's Day 2013. That I had leukemia and asked January wanted to go. I knew I wanted to go to. Ultimately did Dana Farber for treatment silent to the Brigham. And that was. McClellan I felt that on the rabbit that was that was the beginning. And so I had. Chemotherapy was emission. And came back in for what's called consolidation. It's decided to keep things in check so that while waiting for someone and the donors for stem cells. Eight got my donor. Who is an iris. Yeah and went back into the hospital to have the and transplant done and found out that I was. And the cancer had returned from had relapsed. Soul. Instead of getting. Stem cells like that another round of different kind keynote. And and they already had to stem cells it was kind of like it was frozen in their refrigerator it's finally here. And so. Doctorow said well we're just gonna go ahead and as you know give it stem cells and see what happens so it does stem cell transplant. Went recovery took about each hospital visit was about a month. And I got it came and visited me everyday. And the nurses unseat bush shout out to the nurses plumber and presidency for. We're great doctor Hoke came to see me to care. It's just. I just felt relaxed. And I think part of it is because I'm a nurse so I knew what was going on line. But also I knew that I was in the best place and it once did stem cell transplant was done. Ellis. The end of the hospitalizations and on into being a part. And fortunately. He said he answered did not go into remission. The bone marrow biopsy which at that. I don't know probably a dozen of them it'll be a lot alive. Show that I was. The cancer was back so I started on a medication it. Was originally. Used to treat kidney cancer but they. So out. And what is. Leukemia and that genetic. Twists and that is something called it pretty empty tree. Really. Aggressive bad and it. Anyway hearing him because he's been through a lot. I had who have really been through a lot I have but you know it through this whole thing it's like not gonna let this and yet he could feel. You know when I was told my chances there and I learned that at some questions. But that. Doctor told me ask you because obviously she's been through an awful lot Bret a lot of different types of treatments is what we hear the advancements that we've had the last 101520 years five years even. Tick treatment of some of these that the treatments to stem cell treatment or bone marrow transplant the talk about the new treatments that you have now at your disposal as opposed to maybe few years back yen also for cyclist Lance. Thank you for doing this you know it's truly an inspiration. From the he has a lot about it is it's going through what she's. Gone through in hopes of being cured if you leukemia. So you know what I can say for sure icing IC Gayle every time. You know she keeps me going in the clinic because there are days that depressing when patients are relaxing it is sick. But that you know you see peace like dale come through that door and and you know I know if she would diagnosed by years earlier shouldn't be alive today. On because that's on the medications that we half. So Gail was diagnosed at a very aggressive form of leukemia co AM I'll look cute Miley leukemia and her leukemia has a mutation. In each team called the three. Which is a a protein that drives these cells to grow really really fast. I'm so. With this mutation leukemia just would not respond well to chemotherapy so despite other team that she got. We couldn't really keep her in remission for any long period of time. And transplant was really her only hope. Yet in in in terms of trying to cure this disease and the way to transplant works is that we have to. Fine hey I'm related person who just happens to have a similar. Immune system. That we could use it to donor. That we can transplants themselves into a difficult is that different. It depends on a person and so luckily now the national marrow donor program the richest we have about twenty million people in it and and so with. Just huge numbers of people in the bank. Just random you know such as ten can be too full matches so are. Well minorities is still a problem finding donors but four occasions it's usually easier. Until luckily for Gail you know she had a man matched donor who was able to come through and donate stem cells for her. And we collect this themselves and we try to transplant during an on admissions yet Horry relapse and so we have to get her try to get him back into remission before we do it attracts so. When you when you do the transplant and does that c.'s Maria what are talk in bone marrow and stem cell transplant procedures. That sounds like Star Trek type stuff. I mean I saw the subject to get a match I guess that's part of it if they explain when once when she does reach mission and you have to actually you're due to procedure. What does that look like. Yes that the procedure itself is actually fairly simple it turns out that he stem cells are pretty Smart. You I'll get to do is infuse it into our blood as a transfusion. And the stem cells would get into the bone marrow and stuck to grow through chooses up. Since they're chair she's an a in the back in in the hospital bed getting a transfusion but she has to get high dose chemotherapy. Sometimes just have to radiation to these patients before we put themselves in because with the knock out or immune system be followed with a new cells and to prevent rejection. You knock out her immune system now there's also a risk rivers getting a cold and societies in such everybody else gets you see you really need to be monitored. Exactly so that's why Sanyo central transplant patients at high risk for infection for at least a year after the transplant. So what we're hoping voice that the new stem cells will grow in her body. And build a new blood. And in that new blood will come along with a new immune system. And here's the kicker that's the immune system that's gonna save her life. Because you need dot immune system to fight off the leukemia that's in her body because we know that the chemotherapy cannot get rid of all of the stuff on the bad guys. So we in new immune system fights the leukemia. We call up a graft vs leukemia effect and that's the key to curing these patients waking. Therapy cannot cure them it's amazing dark. That and you are talking about five years. The advances that have been made and that you would not be here five years ago here you war with a great attitude and things are start and hopefully to get better for you. It's amazing. It is amazing what's been done here and there used your talking about how seeing deal every day right how it sometimes you're down today's start going well right what you're seeing people. Do you do you start to view was part of what you said five years ago. What if possible possibilities that 23 years from now for fighting went on that encourages that make you feel like moving in the right direction. Yes absolutely there's been a lot of momentum in the last few years. Intense about developing new drugs to target and teen years and other types of cancers so as I mentioned Gail has a mutation college between mutation. In her cancer cells and knowing that she has that mutation allows us to use this medication caused the raft and at. Two Tweeter on this is a drug that you know. With about initially for a kidney cancer. And in the lap no we know that also attacks this protein called the three. And when patients who have to looking at the foot three we tried it on her and miraculously it where it held at the details getting its appeal that he called all day. It has really no side effects. And it allowed her to get into remission. You know. As she was we lapsing and allow us to get the strands of the transplant done. And then since then you know she's able to come off this medication and now the transplants work now she has developed a very strong graph. She still dealing with some issues at that graft vs host disease where her in new immune system is you know causing some issues and nobody but willing and able to control that. And now she's most likely Huard and mail for the rest of life he would lift with this donor's blood so you Trotter like today. You know you'll find DNA of her don't. Not her Palin amazing I went from not because it is fled to own and get on we've. Billion you've been through so much you really got but your attitude is really positive well I'm sure that's working wonders for you I think helping you along the way you have to have a positive attitude attitude I think is. Everything you get up every day even though you feel like crap and you don't feel like they Cadillac. You know you gotta do it anyway and it only serves to make you feel better. Heightened years sense of well being and you know not think so much about that stuff and appreciate. The great stuff right in between that and the fact that. Doctors like doctor ho and others. We're coming up with all these new developments. Who hopefully you've got a little longer provide thank you I would stop by and sharing your story. And I love your attitude than we do thank you very much I know you're my little list.

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