Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Cancer Care

Santa Clara Medical Center

News & Events

Dr. Pan and Dr. Lee's Blog

Transplantation and Cancer

May 01, 2011

By Dr. Hyma Vempaty and Dr. Minggui Pan



Patients who receive stem cell, bone marrow, or organ transplants may have increased risk for developing certain cancers. Below is a quick overview of how patients may be affected by different transplants.

Autologous stem cell transplant 

Patients with aggressive lymphoma that later relapsed or became resistant to chemotherapy may receive an autologous stem cell transplant (also called an autologous bone marrow transplant) if their lymphoma responds to salvage chemotherapy (chemotherapy given after the recurrence of a tumor).

Patients who are candidates for autologous stem cell transplant have their own stem cells collected from their blood then receive high-dose chemotherapy to get rid of lymphoma cells in their body. Their own stem cells are then infused back into the body, similar to a blood transfusion.

Patients who received autologous stem cell transplant are at increased risk of developing myelodysplatic syndrome (MDS) or acute leukemia. This is because the high dose of chemotherapy required for this treatment can cause damage to bone marrow cells and create chromosome abnormalities or gene mutations. Patients who develop MDS after autologous bone marrow transplant often have anemia, low white blood cell count, and/or low platelet count. Acute leukemia can develop 2 to 7 years after the transplant, depending on what chemotherapy drug is used.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplant

Patients who received an allogeneic bone marrow transplant are at increased risk of developing secondary cancer, such as skin cancer. They can also develop cancer related to taking immunosuppressive drugs, which lowers the effectiveness of the body’s immune system.

Organ transplantation and cancer

Patients who receive organ transplantation such as kidney, lung, liver, or heart have increased risk of developing certain cancers, including lip cancer, squamous cell skin carcinoma, melanoma (particularly for men), or Kaposi’s sarcoma. This is because of the immunosuppressive drugs they have to take to avoid rejection of the donor organ they received.

Patients with kidney transplant may develop lymphoma within the first year of their transplant. This type of lymphoma is often called post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). By adjusting the immunosuppressive drugs, the lymphoma may regress. Lymphoma that develops after the first year of their kidney transplant often does not respond to this approach and may require chemotherapy.

Lung transplant patients have higher risk of lung cancer, most likely related to a history of smoking.

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