Depending upon your disease status, you may need to receive further treatment prior to starting the transplant process. This is referred to as standard chemotherapy. This treatment is given to see if your cancer cells respond to chemotherapy drugs, and to reduce the number of cancer cells to a minimum. If the cancer cells are not affected by standard chemotherapy, the chance that the high-dose chemotherapy will affect them may be decreased. If standard chemotherapy destroys a large number of the tumor cells, this increases the chance that the high-dose chemotherapy will be able to eliminate most of the remaining cancer cells.

Standard chemotherapy is usually given at your referring oncologist’s office. The type of chemotherapy you receive will depend on your type of cancer. Your transplant physician and your oncologist will work together and recommend a treatment plan for you.

After completion of standard chemotherapy, you will be re-evaluated to determine how the treatment has affected your cancer and to assess your baseline organ function. This re-evaluation, known as restaging, involves x-rays, scans, blood tests, EKG’s, pulmonary function tests and biopsies and will help in developing a plan of care for you.