Are you cringing? Russia for medical treatment, and such a devastating procedure? YES! Why?
Many reasons, first and foremost is that I have utter faith, confidence and assurance in Dr. Denis Fedorenko and his skills to perform a stem cell transplant. Secondly is the cost, approximately $40,000-50,000 depending on hospitalization and need for transfusions or plasma. Third, Dr. Fedorenko will treat patients with my type of MS at my age, something very few, if any, will do in the U.S. I have been communicating with Amy Peterson of Round Rock, Texas. She was the first person in the U.S. to travel to Moscow for HSCT, and has done beautifully! Read about her story at http://amygoesninja.wordpress.com. She is an inspiration!
The following is information provided by George Goss, the guru of HSCT here in the United States. He is the “go to” man for questions, help, support and inspiration. He too went overseas for HSCT – to Germany which is considered the best of the best. Unfortunately, Germany will not treat my type of MS.
Thank you George…
Here is the Maximov website: http://www.gemclinic.ru/english.php
Here is relevant info I have learned about Maximov’s HSCT treatment for MS:
Maximov performs HSCT for both bone marrow malignancies (such as leukemia) and also several types of autoimmune diseases.
For autoimmune disorders they perform a non-myeloablative HSCT protocol utilizing primarily a combination of carmustine + cyclophosphamide. I never previously heard of this specific chemical combination being used, but it makes sense to me and seems like a reasonable treatment application. I don’t see any red flags.
Maximov has ten treatment beds for treating a maximum of ten patients at one time. Five beds reserved for cancer patients, and five beds for patients with autoimmune disorders.”
HSCT treatment criteria for autoimmune (MS) conditions:
– Exclude patients greater than 50 years of age – although he has agreed to accept me pending MRI review
– Must be in sufficiently good health to tolerate HSCT procedure) includes good heart and renal function and generally be in good overall health),
And specifically for Multiple Sclerosis patients:
– Must not be ‘severely’ disabled (patient must be ambulatory with an EDSS of less than approximately 6.0) – I am on the border here, so I need to get there ASAP!
– Will treat any evolutionary form of MS (RRMS, SPMS and PPMS); all allowed but must demonstrate active MRI lesion activity or alternatively if without active lesions must have experienced greater than a 1.0 worsening of EDSS over a period of one year.
– Maximov previously treated more than approximately 200 patients (mostly Russians) with autoimmune disorders in which a very small number (3-5) developed “serious” treatment complications (such as sepsis), of which everyone recovered. There have been no deaths or Treatment Related Mortality (0% TRM).
– Maximum pre-treatment exam duration = 1 week.
– Hematopoietic stem cell PBSC mobilization (with G-CSF) = 4-5 days (2-4M HSC’s / kg body weight collected).
– Peripheral blood stem cell collection / apheresis = 1-2 days.
– “Usual” total in-patient hospital stay (inclusive of all procedures) = 30-45 days. An additional week is required at a nearby hotel to ensure patient health and good blood counts before traveling back to Oklahoma